Friday, July 19, 2024


Written By Abinav Subramanian (Grade 6)

Laurels have a very interesting and different history in both fact, and myth. They are associated with peace and victory. The prize was usually a laurel wreath in the Ancient Olympic games, held in present-day Olympia.

The legend goes that Apollo, the sun god, fell in love with a mortal girl named Daphne. He secretly stalks her, until suddenly a man named Leucippus comes and kills her. Infuriated, Apollo revives Daphne by turning her into the first laurel tree, and he also kills Leucippus. This is why laurels are considered sacred to Apollo, and generally used in his worship.

The symbol of victory was adopted from the Romans. The associated laurels with immortality and purity. This is also why the words ‘laureate’ and ‘baccalaureate’ are formed. It is also said that Pythia, a devotee of Apollo, used to chew laurel leaves. This was her secret for producing her oracular prophecies.

Let’s come back to fact. Laurels (Laurus Nobilis) can grow up to 18 metres tall. The leaves are up to 10 cm long. These plants are native to South America, particularly Brazil. Laurel forests are found throughout the Mediterranean Coast, mainly in the more humid areas.

Overall, I would like to say that laurels are very interesting plants that have a diverse history. The research I performed on this laurel plant was new knowledge for me and it will remain etched in my mind for a long, long time.

Featured Image Courtesy – Gardening Express


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