One of nature's floral water vessels.

One of nature’s floral water vessels.

Once upon a time there was a bed of flowers past its prime. On a sunny winter day walking around Agnes Scott during a break from a short course, I came across these. I think they are hydrangeas. So glad the college gardeners found the shrub’s sculptural beauty worth leaving for others to admire.

Curiosity got the best of Little Miss Etymology.  The Greek hydr- from hydor meaning “water” was obvious. But it wasn’t until I got to peering at the dark brown clusters on my screen that I connected -angea (from angeion for “vessel or capsule”) to what are actually cup-shaped seed pods.