Once upon a time….

Macodes petola (Javanese legend, from Rumphius’ Orchids)

Long ago a radiantly beatiful goddess, Petola, was sent by the gods to Java to show the uncivilized natives the reight and good ways. Her gentleness did not persuade them, and they chased her away to a rocky outcrop in the deep forest. She returned the next day in a angry mood and the peoople then subjected themselves to her. They pleaded for her beautiful scarf as a sign of ther forgiveness, but she could not leave it. She returned to the rochky outcrop and while asleedp laid her scarf on the ground. Soon the ground was covered with lovely plants that bore on their leaves the pattern of the heavenly scarf; and so originated the daun petola of Java, brought there by a goddess. Soon the news of the divine flowers spread and people came from far and near to collect them for themselves. All there plants, however, began to die. The goddess magically restored them on the rock, breathed life into them, and left them in the care of the mountain fairies. The Javanes explain that this is why the plant connot be grown away from the place of its origin.

macode petola

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