Friday, October 09, 2009

The romantic tale of the Tagimoucia

The romantic tale of the Tagimoucia

The Tagimoucia is one of the rarest flowers in the world.

Nestling in a dormant volcano, the rare and lovely tagimoucia blooms on the fringe of Taveuni's remote lakes, four thousand feet above sea level.

One of the rarest flowers in the world, the tagimoucia or medinilla waterhousei, grows only on the island of Taveuni, home to lush rainforest, exotic ferns, orchids, rare palms and native trees.

Behind Fiji's unique, national flower, there is a legend - a Fijian legend full of South Seas romance. On the island of Taveuni there once lived a beautiful princess.

One day, she found out that she was to lose her lover because her father had betrothed her to an ugly, old man in the village.

In her anguish, she ran into the forest, where she wandered around for many hours before she found herself on the banks of an exquisite, jewel-like lake.

She was later to be discovered by a search party, weeping as she slept upon a bed of tangled, green vines.

As her tears rolled down her cheeks, they fell on to the stems of the plant and turned from salt into blood red flowers.

The group of men, send by her father to find her, named these flowers "tagimoucia" which means in Fijian "crying tears of despair."

And there they are to this day, for the people of Taveuni believe that this exquisite flower did indeed originate from the bitter tears shed by a young girl in love.

As for the princess, when she awoke from her nap she was delighted to find her lover by her side. Her father, feeling pity for his daughter, then allowed the young couple to marry and they lived happily every after on Taveuni - the "Garden Island of Fiji."

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