Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year! -- Plant Jokes Again

Happy New Year!

I had great fun publishing plant jokes last in the New Year post last year, so here are some more: 

1) Why couldn't the gardener grow any flowers?

pines and junipers in yard

He hadn't botany.

2) What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on him?

bunch of red grapes

 Nothing. He just let out a little wine.

3) A Centaurea, and a Centranthus and a Centrosema were walking down the street

Centranthus rubra, red valerian
Centranthus rubra, red valerian
Centaurea cyanus , bachelor button
Centaurea cyanus, bachelor button
Centrosema brasiliensis butterfly pea
Centrosema brasiliensis butterfly pea   

when they saw an Iva
Iva axillaris, poverty weed
Iva axillaris, poverty weed

“Hey,” cried Centaurea, Centranthus and Centrosema, "we’re going to drop by the bar for a drink. Want to come along?” 

“No, you go ahead, “ replied the Iva, “ I don’t have a cent to my name.”

4) Where did Centaura, Centranthus and Centrosema go for their drink?

The Salad Bar.

tea Camellia sinensis
tea, Camellia sinensis

5) A frequent traveler to Asia became fascinated by tea (Camellia sinensis). Over time he tried the second grade and then the first grade teas, paying more and more for his tea. But the subtle flavors of the rarer teas enchanted him. Soon he was ordering the first picking of the high mountain teas and tea-merchants would call him whenever they purchased a rare tea.

Tea took over his life, a delightful obsession of careful preparation with the right water heated to just the exact temperature, poured over leaves in a pot that was a rare work of art, steeped for the precise length of time that brought out the best flavor, and enjoyed in cup chosen for its unique ugliness.

One afternoon his tea broker called him into the back room saying, "You must try this."

Very ceremoniously he heated water, poured it onto the tea, and they tasted. It was marvelous, a clear pale green, the taste light yet curiously rich, the steam ever-so beautifully aromatic.

"What IS this?"

"It's called koala tea, from a remote plantation in Australia."

"Silly name! But its terrific. I'll take a a full ounce!"

The merchant sold him the tea, at an astonomical price.

The tea afficionado savored every drop, but presently it was gone. He went back to the merchant
"I want more of that koala tea!"

"I'm sorry," said his friend. "They produce very little of it and I have no more."

Hurried investigations produced none in the United States, so at the first opportunity he set off to Australia. By then he had learned that koala tea was the tea world's answer to civet coffee (link): the tea was fed to koalas (link) whose stomachs removed some chemicals and changed others, so the leaves deposited by the koalas made the wonderful brew he had tasted. And of course, it could only be produced in Australia, the home of koalas.
Eucalyptus, Australia
gum tree, eastern Australia

Working his way back through the importer on the package to the exporter in Sydney, to the shipper in Cairns, he found he was looking for Papa and Mama's Tea and Tucker, in Mer-See, Queensland.

From Cairns he hired a taciturn driver named Mick with a rugged old ute and they set off to Mer-See. The ute plunged boldly through deep forests, up scary grades and along old mountain roads. Far below he could sometimes glimpse the Coral Sea. Late in the day they came to Mer-See, a tiny town perched almost on the top of a cliff, with a glorious view of the ocean below.

There was the sign: Papa and Mama's Tea and Tucker among a tall stand of old gum trees.

Delighted, the tea drinker hopped out, stretched after the very rough ride, and entered.

A middle-aged woman in a faded cotton jumper came out from the back.

"G'day, mate?"

"Is this the source of koala tea?"

"Yeah," she said.

"I'd like to buy some. Freshest you have, please"

She stepped through the side door. A large koala was sleeping in the gum tree beside the porch. Below it a gray tarpauline covered the ground. She bent and scooped green droppings into her hand  and dropped them into a saucer.

She set out a small white coffee cup. Then she slid most of the koala droppings into a plain brown  tea pot. As she lifted the kettle to pour in hot water, he had to ask

"Er, aren't you going to strain it?"

She gave him a disdainful look

"The koala tea of Mer-See is not strained...!"

Happy New Year


3) Modified from Don Les. 2007. Menziesia 11(4): 15. to use plants I know.
4) Modified from Salad bar is the standard answer, but it seems canabalistic, so perhaps you can suggest a plantier answer, like tanning bar or the shower bar.
5) Modified from the version I learned from Eric Doerr, dreadful punster.
ute is Australian for utility vehicle
tucker is food
gum tree is Eucalyptus, the food of koalas
apologies to William Shakespeare

Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
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You might also like last year's New Year's Plant jokes (puns): link

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