Turnip slipped and leaved (Period)

Turnip slipped and leaved (Period)

The turnip is a root vegetable with a bitter taste, which was nonetheless widely cultivated in medieval times (since it will grow almost anywhere).  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Am Hard, c.1340 [Zurich 266].

A “turnip proper” in period would be mostly white (with some purple near the stem) with green leaves; the Society defines a “turnip proper” as (roughly) per fess wavy purpure and argent, slipped and/or leaved vert.  Its leaves are to chief by default.  See also fruit.

Jenifer of Squalid Manor bears:  Or, a turnip purpure, leaved vert, distilling a goutte de sang.

Helena Caxton bears:  Vert, a turnip argent.

Ysabelot Clarisse bears as a badge:  A turnip bendwise proper.

This entry was posted on June 5, 2014, in .

Poppy boll

Poppy boll slipped (Period)

Poppy boll slipped (Period)

The poppy boll is the fruit of the poppy plant, containing the seeds and the opium latex for which the plant is cultivated. It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Tomas Porthelyne c.1460 [RH; cf. DBA2 352]. The period emblazon shows a bit of the slip of the poppy boll; one Society example has bolls slipped and leaved as well. The poppy boll has its slip to base by default.

Walter of Lowestoft bears: Azure, a bend and in sinister canton four poppy-bolls, all argent.

Anne du Lac bears: Per bend azure and argent semy of poppy bolls slipped and leaved gules, in sinister chief an open book Or.

This entry was posted on May 27, 2014, in .


Pomegranate slipped and leaved (Period)

Pomegranate slipped and leaved (Period)

The pomegranate is a fruit often found in Spanish armory, to mark a connection to Granada [Woodward 339].  To medieval theologians, it symbolized the rewards of heaven:  for it was one of the fruits promised to the Chosen People.

The pomegranate is depicted with the bulb split open, revealing the interior and seeds; it may be “seeded” of a contrasting tincture.  It’s usually found slipped and leaved, as in the illustration, but that fact is always blazoned.  The pomegranate’s “proper” tincture has differed between times and countries, and even Society blazons have not been consistent (though “gules, slipped vert, seeded Or” seems to be the most common); the term is best avoided when possible.

Zahra bint Talib bears:  Sable, three pomegranates slipped and leaved Or, seeded gules.

Julia des Grenades bears:  Vert, in cross four pomegranates bendwise Or, seeded gules.

Rivka bat Efraim bears:  Per chevron throughout wavy azure and argent, three pomegranates slipped and leaved counterchanged.

This entry was posted on May 27, 2014, in .

Pine cone

Pine cone slipped and leaved, stem to base (Period)

Pine cone slipped and leaved, stem to base (Period)

New World pineapple (SFPP)

New World pineapple (SFPP)

A pine cone is the fruit of the pine tree.  It is a period charge, found in the canting arms of Pin c.1285 [ANA2 252]; but it seems to have no default orientation, being shown sometimes with the stem up, other times with the stem down.  Because of the ambiguity, the pine cone should be explicitly blazoned; the illustration shows a pine cone slipped and leaved, stem to base.

Mundane heralds frequently blazon the pine cone as a “pineapple”.  In modern parlance, this is the term for the bromeliadic fruit from South America (or, more recently, from Hawai’i).  To avoid confusion, the Society does not use the unmodified term:  instead, this fruit is blazoned as a “New World pineapple” in Society heraldry.  This fruit has its leaves to chief by default; as New World flora, its use is considered a step from period practice.

Cedar cone potted (Period)

Cedar cone potted (Period)

A specific stylization of the pine cone is found in the arms of Augsburg as early as c.1450 [Ingeram 52].  This form, said to date from Roman times, is invariably potted (or mounted on a pedestal; sources differ as to which it is) with its stem to base.  German sources variously blazon this form as a “Pinienzapfen“, “Zirbelnuß“, or “Stadtpyr” [Leonhard 252]; in the Society, it’s blazoned as a “cedar cone”, to distinguish it from a pine cone.  See also hops.

The Shire of Emerald Glen bears:  Or, a dragon dormant, tail sufflexed sable within a laurel wreath vert, in chief three cedar cones vert, potted sable.

Morgillian of Greenbough bears:  Or, a pine cone, stem to chief vert.

Marsaili inghean Domhnaill bears:  Or, a New World pineapple vert, on a chief sable a sun in its splendor Or and a moon in its plenitude argent.

This entry was posted on May 23, 2014, in .


Mushroom (Period)

Mushroom (Period)

A mushroom is a saprophytic plant, considered a fruit for purposes of heraldic classification.  It’s a period charge, found in the arms of Dryland, c.1480 [DBA2 351], and the arms of Phoffwintzer, mid-16th C [NW 65].  The mushroom is couped by default; occasionally, the type (e.g., “morel”) is specified in blazon.

Deborah the Wanderer bears:  Purpure, a mushroom argent.

Leopold van Audenhoelve bears:  Sable, three mushrooms argent.

Geoffrey des Champignons bears:  Or semy of mushrooms, a bordure sable

This entry was posted on May 22, 2014, in .


Leek (Period)

Leek (Period)

The leek is a pungent herb, similar to the onion.  As an heraldic charge, it’s found in the canting arms (Italian porro) of de Poris, mid-15th C. [Triv 273]; but the leek was perhaps better known medievally as the (unofficial) plant-badge of Wales [Scott-Giles, The Romance of Heraldry, p.18].  (Modern heralds have recognized this usage officially.)  The leek is palewise, bulb to base by default.  See also fruit.

Annore Spicer bears:  Argent, a leek within a bordure wavy vert.

Dewi Balch bears:  Per fess argent and vert, a leek counterchanged.

This entry was posted on March 5, 2014, in .


Hop cone slipped and leaved (Period)

Hop cone slipped and leaved (Period)

Hops are the fruit of the hop vine; they may also be termed “hop cones”, and perhaps the term is more readily understood.  Hops are added to beer to give it bitterness, being first added in the 11th Century; hops were cultivated by twining the vines around poles.  Hops are found in the rebus badge of Elizabeth Hopton, d.1498 [Marks & Payne 40].  The “hop vine” and the “hop pole” (a staff palewise with a hop vine entwined around its length) have likewise been used in Society armory.

Hops, like most fruit, have their stems to chief by Society default.  The illustration shows a hop slipped and leaved.  For related charges, see thyrsus.  See also pine cone.

The Canton of Humalasalo bears as a badge:  Gules, a hop pole between three tankards Or.

Osric se breowere bears:  Per chevron vert and argent, two hop cones inverted Or and a serpent in annulo vorant of its own tail sable.

Ilona von Neunhoff bears:  Gules, a hop vine palewise Or fructed argent, a bordure compony azure, semy of towers argent, and Or.

Iylla Rethelsson bears:  Azure, in bend two stalks of barley bendwise sinister embowed Or surmounted by two hop cones conjoined in fess argent.

This entry was posted on February 11, 2014, in .


Bunch of grapes (Period)

Bunch of grapes slipped and leaved (Period)

Grapes are small round fruit that grow on vines, and which are famously the basis for making wine.  Grapes grow, and therefore in heraldry are always depicted, in “bunches” or “clusters”.  Grapes are period charges, found in the arms of Zoller, 1605 [Siebmacher 199].  By default, a bunch of grapes has its slip to chief.  A “bunch of grapes proper” has purpure grapes, slipped and/or leaved vert [Parker 602].

Robert of Canterbury bears:  Gules, three bunches of grapes slipped and leaved Or.

Andrew of the Vine bears:  Or, three bunches of grapes sable, stemmed and leaved vert.

Inga Agnadottir bears:  Purpure, a bunch of grapes Or slipped and leaved argent.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .


Ear of wheat (Period)

Ear of wheat (Period)

Grain is cereal grass that has been cultivated for food.  In period armory, grain is normally depicted as a single ear, with a bit of stalk couped; this is blazoned simply as an “ear of [grain]”, with the type of grain specified.  Many types of grain are found in period heraldry:  ears of wheat are found in the canting arms (Portuguese trigo) of Triguieros, c.1540 [Nobreza xxxviº], ears of barley in the canting arms (French orge) of Orgemont, c.1460 [GATD 54v], and ears of rye in the canting arms of Riddell of That Ilk, mid-16th C. [Lord Crawford’s Armorial, fo.141v].  Ears of grain are palewise by default; the illustration shows an ear of wheat.

We also have rare examples of “stalks of [grain]”, showing the full stalk and leaves topped by the ear.  Thus, while the arms of Triguieros use ears of wheat, the crest shows stalks of wheat.  Like the ears, stalks are palewise by default.

For related charges, see garb.  See also fruit.

Antonio de Gregorio bears:  Vert, a stalk of wheat inverted surmounted by two stalks of wheat in saltire Or.

Felene of Scotia bears:  Gyronny Or and vert, on the gyrons eight ears of wheat conjoined at the centerpoint counterchanged.

Edric Longfellow bears:  Per pale gules and azure, two stalks of barley in saltire within a bordure Or.

This entry was posted on January 31, 2014, in .


Bulb of garlic (Period)

Bulb of garlic (Period)

Garlic is a pungent herb, a strong flavouring for food and a talisman against some evils.  It’s generally shown as a “bulb”, which fact is explicitly blazoned; garlic bulbs are found in the canting arms (German Knoblauch) of Knobloch, 1605 [Siebmacher 210].  The bulb’s point is to chief by Society default.

Period armory also gives us the “garlic plant”, which shows the stalk as well as the bulb; it’s found in the arms of Luchau, c.1370 [Gelre 42].  See also fruit.

Myfanwy Crisiant ferch Dafydd bears:  Gyronny purpure and Or, a bulb of garlic argent.

Desdemona Polizziano bears:  Purpure, a garlic bulb, a chief dovetailed argent.

This entry was posted on January 29, 2014, in .