Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fifth Anniversary

Today week marks the fifth anniversary of this blog. February 4, 2013 I published the first post. For five years, I have added a new post weekly. Blogspot counts this as the 269th post, because very occasionally I had two in a week but never missed a week.

My goal was to share great plant stories. I remain delighted with stories such as that the color orange is named after the fruit, not vice versa (link) and that the U.S. Supreme Court had to decide whether tomatoes are fruits or vegetables (link).

I try very hard to write accurate information. Anyone can post a blog, there is no editor who checks my work to prevent errors. The internet contains a lot of dubious information, some of it plain wrong, much more incomplete or misleading. I check and double check and include my references so you can go read what I read. If its not right, let me know!

For me, it has always been a delight to match something I'd been taught or read about to reality.
So I hope that if you've read about soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca link) or sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera link), when you see them in a garden or in nature, you'll have that same excitement of recognition and connection.

Yucca glauca
sacred lotus, Nelumbo nucifera
sacred lotus
And I write about travel.

Plants are all native somewhere. Its a treat to see Coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) towering high overhead in California or wild banksias (Banksia sp.) in Australia, but the experiences is even better knowing that redwoods are native only in a narrow strip along the northern California coast
redwood, Sequoia sempervirens
redwood- natural distribution limited to coastal
Northern California
and that banksias' whole family (Proteaceae) is confined to the Southern Hemisphere and that 169 of 170 species of banksia are endemic to Australia. Knowledge enhances travel.
banksia - very recognizeable flower stalks
but 169 of 170 only native in Australia

That's the fun I have, gathering plant stories and travel notes to share. I almost always learn things I didn't know about plants I thought I knew enough about to describe in a blog. For example that bird of paradise plant's complex flower had been figured out by American birds (link) or that Hibiscus calyphyllus is now believed to be a naturalized alien in Hawaii (link).

Since there are thousands of plants and thousands of places to see them, I expect to be adding to this blog for a while yet. Thank you for reading my words. Please share the stories.

Enjoy plants, travel and history!

southern Chile
Chilean Patagonia -- next Sunday
Comments and corrections always welcome.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist

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