Sunday, December 25, 2016

Plant Story--Fragrant Rosemary

Rosemary is for remembrance.

rosemary flowers
rosemary in flower
That's one of the few commonly-remembered plant meanings.

The "Language of Flowers" was a Victorian creation, putting meanings onto plants, so a bud or bouquet could convey a very specific message. There seem to have been several systems, which meant you could misunderstand the message. But, using Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers, one of the still-available lists (link), a white rose would say "I'm worthy of you, " while receiving white and red roses together meant "unity." In Greenaway's system, rosemary meant "remembrance".

But rosemary's role in remembrance goes back way before the Victorian era (1837-1901). In both ancient Greece and Rome, rosemary was worn by couples at weddings and placed in the hands of the dead. Both of these evoke enduring affection and remembering. Furthermore Greek students reportedly wore rosemary in their hair for examinations, to better remember the information.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Botanist Visiting London--in December

Two years ago I was in London in the first half of December. Looking back at the photos, I'm struck by the contrast to Colorado at the same time of year.
London, December
northern Colorado, December
London is well north of Denver, any map will show you that. Yet, the ocean effects prevail: it was much warmer than the Colorado we'd left behind. Not only was it warmer, I saw many plants that we cannot grow in Colorado.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Visiting Norway--So Scenic! and more

video

Norway isn't just fjords. It has many miles of scenic coastline and islands, as in the video.

But also beautiful fjords (below). A fjord is a long deep canyon filled with seawater. Most were carved by glaciers. Fjords are rare around the world, the famous ones are in found in Norway, New Zealand, Chile, Canada, Alaska and Greenland.

 Hardranger Fjord, Norway Fjord, Norway

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Edible Plants--What is an Edible Plant?

Berberis

One of the things people like to ask about a plant: Is it edible?

That is probably not the right question.