PSALAKANTHA (or Psalacantha) was a Naiad Nymph of the Aegean island of Ikaria (Icaria).
Dionysos sought her assistance when he was wooing Ariadne on the island of Naxos. However when the god spurned her own advances she tried to drive Ariadne from him and as punishment was transformed into the flowering plany-plant.
Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 5 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (trans. Pearse) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"As for the psalakanthos, it's an Egyptian plant which gains health and victory when used to decorate horses. It is said, on the other hand, that Psalakantha was a Nymphe of the isle of Ikaros who, captured by Dionysos, helped him to obtain Ariane on the condition that he should also belong to her, and Dionysos refused; Psalakantha took herself to Ariane and the irritated god turned her into a plany; then, feeling remorse, he wanted to honour this plant by placing it in the crown of Ariane, who took her place among the celestial constellations. As for the plant, some say it resembles the armoise, others the melilot."
- Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History - Greek Scholar C1st-2nd AD
- Photius, Myriobiblon - Byzantine Greek Scholar C9th AD