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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Smeraldo - non-potevo dire la verità 優曇奇花

Updated: Mar 21



In Italian, smeraldo is the word for "emerald." Some claim that smeraldo is a mythical flower that only occurs in stories and legends.

Smeraldo, the flower, is said to represent "sincerity that could not be delivered."

Accoding to legend, the flower is said to have blossomed in "La Citta Di Smeraldo," a thriving city in Northern Italy that was purportedly abandoned following the black death in medieval times...


The smeraldo flower is quite symbolical.

It represents an entangled love story surrounding the smeraldo which is estimated to have taken place around the 15th-16th centuries in the city of “La Citta di smeraldo”.

According to various sources, the story supposedly has a tragic ending filled with yearning, sadness and sincerity that could not be delivered.





A man's only known biography is that he was the "love child" of the Duke of Florence, who had fallen in love with the daughter of a poor gardener. The father was left alone in the world after she died during childbirth from severe hemorrhaging.

Due to his unwed birth, the duke's wife and children attempted to kill the poor child, causing everyone great distress. The Duke had no choice but to send him away to a remote location.

Many rumors about the man circulated, and none of them were confirmed.

Because he was deemed "ugly," it is believed that the man hid by himself in the old castle and donned a mask. Probably as a result of all the jealousy and hate he encountered during his life, he never showed anyone his true feelings. Anger and mistrust would make him retreat whenever someone attempted to approach him.

He will cut himself apart from society. His heart as well as his body.

His only happiness lies in cultivating flowers in his gardens. The flowers provided him with a sense of peace and solace.





Soon, things began to take a pretty turn. A turn that, in the back of his mind, would have been a beautiful moment.

A turn that would bring tears to his eyes and permanently leave a somber scar on his heart.

He was being played upon by fate.

A young girl came in front of him one day not far from his castle. Her clothing was torn and tattered. The girl took up the garden fence's heels, climbed over it, and stole some flowers while he watched. For the next few days, she came every night and repeated her acts. Initially angry that the fruits of his labour are being stolen every night, the man decided to secretly follow her one night.

After trailing her to a nearby village, he soon learned the reason behind her nightly flower thefts in his garden

He discovered that out of poverty, the girl steals the flowers to sell.

He felt terribly sorry for her. He was consumed by guilt.

He now desired to help the girl. He desired to impart to her all of his flower-growing knowledge. He wanted to impart to her his expertise in cultivating these exquisite flowers.

He was beginning to fall in love with her.

The man began cultivating the flowers for her, making sure they were of the most beautiful in the world.

He desired to appear before her one day. To tell her how about his feelings for her.

But he was afraid that his appearance would frighten her.

He knew she wouldn't be fond of his unattractive appearance, so he needed to conceal himself. Ultimately, all he could do was nurture and grow the flowers in the hope that she would return to his garden every night, so that he can watch her pick the flowers from afar.


He eventually made the decision to grow the most exquisite flower—the smeraldo—for her to sell. This is his only way to express his affection for her.


The next few months, he shut himself within the fortress.

After numerous attempts, he finally found success with his creation. The flower was extremely beautiful. It was something that the world had never seen before. He then planted the flower in his garden and bidded his time till dusk so the girl might come back.

He kept waiting for the girl to return to the garden so she could take the flower. But the girl never showed up again.


He wanted to find out what happened to the girl, but he was afraid. Afraid that she will leave him in the end. So he decided to wear a mask and go to the village to see her.

Unfortunately, the man soon learned from the villagers that the girl has passed away.



Would the man have showed his face and proven his love if he had the courage?

Thus the flower language of the Smeraldo is as such: ‘non-potevo dire la verità’ or ‘the truth that could not be told’.


This year, my friend Falk Maske comes with a flowery costume...it is very beautiful, but there is a sense of sadness and mystery behind the mask. Perhaps, this is the legend of Smeraldo...

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