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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v001.n064
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 07:50:01 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

>         Another question I have is that of, is Chenille a real color? It
> a type of material or fabric I know, but Chenille herself refers to it as
> color, the color that she died her hair, she also says that there are
> Chenille flowers, which I am ignorant of also. However, the word in
> means caterpillar, which kind of screws of the whole girl names=flowers.


My new OED that I am so proud of let me down, giving only the fabric
definition (though it did please me by going back for roots past the French
caterpillar to "canicula," a hairy little dog). Wyman's Garden Encyclopedia
comes partly to the rescue:

CHENILLE COPPERLEAF (Acalypha hispida): A house plant, native of the East
Indies...the red flowers are born in spikelike drooping racemes...sometimes
it is called the Red Hot Cattail...

I have actually seen these flowers in the tropics, both the drooping ones
and another upright rather contorted kind (echevera leucotrychia) that
Wyman's lists but does not elaborate on, and yes they are fuzzy and of a
brilliant "unnatural" red--scarlet leaning toward fuschia. Think of it as
one of those punk "cellophane" dye jobs.


Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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