Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Versicolor – Wordplay Wednesday™ 04/07/2021

Spring into a Colorful Spring! 

Finally! Spring has sprung and we know that because the blossoming colors of the earth are all the proof we need.

Certain material items soothe the senses, like teddy bears and chocolate. Spring brings us colorful flowers that flow softly through our psyche like a sensual ray of long-awaited sunshine. Which brings us to …

VERSICOLOR (vurʹsi kul’ɘr) adj. – 1) having many colors, variegated; 2) changing in color, iridescent. [WW #304-M ~ Monthly Edition] *

Though versicolor is not exactly an obscure word, variegated is often the go-to word in our description of flowers and plants.

Yet many beautiful flowers like the Iris versicolor, Epimedium × versicolor ‘Sulphureum’, and Cylindropuntia Versicolor, certainly earn their names, and with any luck, may bloom by Earth Day, April 22nd, in all their versicolor splendor.

For the Iris versicolor, known in some regions as “blue flag” or “snake lily,” majestic stalks can rise to 30” tall in late spring. Bluish-purple flowers adorn the stalks, accented with regal purple veining, to give it the versicolor moniker.

With a barren natural habitat, the Sonoran desert’s “staghorn cholla” (Cylindropuntia Versicolor) is surprisingly colorful. In spring and early summer, the prickly plant greets desert visitors with red, yellow, purple, or combination, of lingering flowers.

But I think my favorite of the three is the “barrenwort” or Epimedium × versicolor ‘Sulphureum’. Its delicately pointed, soft yellow blooms, hang sweetly above chameleon leaves that start in a burnished red, grow strongly into lush green, and change once more, come fall.

Word Challenge: VERSICOLOR. Although focused on flora of the earth, consider the fauna of earth, too, like the iridescent peacock, as you fit versicolor into your week of colorful writings and casual conversations. 

*Disclosure: This word is from the 2014 Webster’s New World College Dictionary – Fifth Edition. It has been dropped from the most current edition in “LR Notes” below, but its use for Wordplay Wednesday is relevant, because it is still in use in plant names, etc. So use it to your heart's content! Maybe they'll re-insert it for the next edition.

Wordplay Wednesday is now for your literary pleasure every first Wednesday of each month. Thank you for stopping by! Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

Cheers to learning a new word today!


[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.
And please note, I do not receive compensation from any company or person for commercial or commodity links I may include in my posts.