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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

8. Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 65 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur, 18) — Gestumblindi [Vol. 8, 429]

[4-5]: Angelica’s main method of reproduction is seeding; plants can self-seed (Garland 2004, 31). Vegetative reproduction of the various sub-species of angelica is not well-documented in modern sources, but there is substantial evidence that the plant will produce off-shoots in or after its second year, especially if it is cut back (e.g. Ojala 1985, 193; Grieve 1931; Garland 2004, 31-2; Small 2006, 164-5), perhaps particularly in cooler climates (Vashistha et al. 2009, 76; Billings 1974, 434). This latter habit seems to be what is meant by the imagery of the riddle and the solution.


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