The Legend of the Sycamore Grove

The Legend of the Sycamore Grove


Armenian people are known for their fondness for sycamore trees. And there’s a reason for it: ancient Armenians were tree worshippers and the sycamore was considered the patriarch of all trees. They planted entire sycamore groves because under their branches man obtained the secrets of purity and nobility.

The most beautiful sycamore grove was located in Syunik province. One day the Persian Shah Darius was passing through that area. He was very impressed with the sycamores and he felt he wanted to introduce a similar touch of nobility and purity around his palaces in Tehran. He ordered to cut some grafts from the sycamores and send them to Persia. The servants of the king raised their curved swords and cut some grafts, killing dozens of trees. In a hurry, they put them on their camels, took them to Tehran and there, they planted them in front of the palace.

They waited and waited for them to take root, but nothing happened. The Armenian sycamore could not live on Persian soil.

Then King Darius proclaimed: “That which does not grow on Persian soil must not grow anywhere else in the world.” He sent his barbarians to destroy the sycamores in Syunik province.

Yet two short years later, the sycamore grove that had been uprooted was alive again.

“How is that possible?” fumed Darius, turning to his astrologer. “What strength is in these sycamores that they cannot be destroyed?”

One of the viziers asked for permission to speak and said:

“That secret is impossible to learn without ingenuity and intelligence. It is through them that the Armenians learned to plant wheat under the roots of the sycamores. A tree planted in wheat seedlings is immortal. No matter how many times you uproot it, it will grow back.”

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