Basil: language of basil flowers and plants

Basil: language of basil flowers and plants



Ocimum basilicum




In the language of flowers, basil has several meanings.

First of all to theBasil has always been in the West an erotic symbolism has been attributed to it, linked to the property of promoting conception. Its flowering branches placed inside a vase in a room would bring harmony and family peace.

But Basil also has a more ominous meaning in fact, for example, on the island of Crete it is a symbol of mourning. This belief is linked both to popular songs and also confirmed by Boccaccio who tells the story of Elizabeth of Messina and her basil plant in the Decameron in the fifth day of the fourth day.

The story tells of the young Lisabetta, unmarried, who lived with her three rich merchant brothers. for whom Lorenzo worked, a handsome young man. Lorenzo and Lisabetta fell in love but love was kept secret because Lisabetta's brothers would not have approved of her sister's relationship with a boy.

One night, however, one of the brothers discovered Lisabetta while she was going to her beloved and so in agreement with the other brothers, to save the honor of the family, they decided to kill Lorenzo and so they did. Lisabetta, not finding Lorenzo anymore, began to ask what happened to him but no one could tell him anything, except the brothers who kept repeating that he was out on errands.

One night in Lisabetta while she was crying overwhelmed by pain, Lorenzo appeared to him in a dream who revealed to her the place where he was buried. The next day Lisabetta went to the place and found the body of her beloved and then she cut off his head with a knife and secretly took it into the house and put it in a pot of basil which she watered with her tears and so it grew luxuriantly.

The brothers, learned from the neighbors that their sister spent all day taking care of the basil, stole it from him and thus discovered Lorenzo's head. In fear of being discovered, they buried their heads and moved far away. Lisetta, deprived of her precious relic, eventually died of pain.

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