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Wednesday - May 14, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Spanish name for bluebonnet
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

What is the Spanish name for bluebonnet? They were in Texas before any other Europeans and must have named the flower. I cannot find it anywhere.

ANSWER:

One Mexican name for Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) is "el conejo" (the rabbit) referring to the white tip of the flower that resembles the tail of a cottontail rabbit, according to Silverthorne in Legends and Lore of Texas Wildflowers (p. 22) and Andrews in The Texas Bluebonnet (p. 13).

We also found a couple of other Spanish names given to the bluebonnet in an older dictionary (Williams, Edwin B. Spanish and English dictionary. Diccionario inglés y español. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962). The other two words were:

1. "azulejo"—the major definition is 'tile', but it was also defined as 'bluebonnet', 'indigo bunting' and 'cornflower'.

2. "aciano"—defined as 'bluebonnet' and 'cornflower'

Then, on SpanishDict.com we found these translations for 'bluebonnet':

!. "gorra azul, mote de los soldados escoceses, que llevan tal gorra" = bluebonnet (or blue cap), nickname for Scottish soldiers who wore such a bonnet (or cap)—not necessarily related to the flower.

2. "flor azul silvestre" = wild blue flower

The botanical name, Lupinus texensis, is the same in every language, of course.

 

 

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