Heliotrope

(4 syl.). Apollo loved Clytie, but forsook her for her sister Leucothoe. On discovering this, Clytie pined away; and Apollo changed her at death to a flower, which, always turning towards the sun, is called heliotrope. (Greek, “turn-to-sun.”)

According to the poets, heliotrope renders the bearer invisible. Boccaccio calls it a stone, but Solinus says it is the herb.

Ut herba ejusdem nominis mixta et præcantationibus legitimis consccrata, eum, a quocunque gestabitur, subtrahat visibus obviorum.” (Georgic, xi.)

No hope had they of crevice where to hide,
Or heliotrope to charm them out of view.

Dante: Inferno, xxiv.

“The other stone is heliotrope, which renders those who have it invisible.” —Boccaccio: The Decameron, Novel iii., Eighth day.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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