Carpus ( Karpos )

Karpos (or Carpus) was a Greek mythological figure, whose name in Greek means "fruit". He is the son of Zephyros (the west wind) and Khloris (or Chloris) (spring, or new vegetation), together forming a natural metaphor — the west wind comes with the new growth of spring, which later bears fruit. Karpos was a youth renowned for his beauty.

Carpo (or Xarpo), one of the Horae, is in some ways the feminine equavilent of Karpos; her dominion was autumn, ripening, and harvesting.

Karpos and Kalamos

Karpos is known as the lover of Kalamos. When they were swimming in the Maeander River for a bet, Karpos accidently drowned. In his grief, Kalamos changed into a reed, which was to forever sound a song of lamentations as it rustled in the wind.


The word Karpos is from an Indo European root "kerp-" or "karp-" meaning "to gather", "to pluck" or "to harvest". Cognates can be found in many Indo-European languages including modern English in words such as "harvest" (via Germanic), "carpet", "excerpt" and "scarce" (via Latin). Coming to English directly from the Greek "karpos" are the following:

the prefix "carpo-" — meaning fruit. eg. carpophagous, "fruit-eating"

the suffixes "-carp" and "-carpous" — also meaning fruit. eg. ascocarp, pericarp

Carpel — the female reproductive organ of a flower

Carpology - the study of fruits and seeds

Carp — a fruiting body of a fungus

Mythology Images

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