You may not think that something with such a highfalutin name as Evening Primrose (Oenothera) could be a City Plant. But don’t be fooled, this herbaceous flower is no shrinking […]
In the year of our Lord twelve hundred and sixty three there was to be a reckoning between the faithful Scots and the Norse pagans the likes of which neither […]
The Black Locust (Ceratonia siliqua) received its somewhat erroneous nomenclature from William Strachey, a member of the Third Supply mission to Jamestown. Before encountering this piece of local flora however, the mission’s ship, Sea Venture, wrecked on the coast of Bermuda in 1609
While most City Plants originate from elsewhere, American Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana, has the distinction of being from this particular neck of the woods. As such it was widely used by […]
Before carrots were presented as shadows of their former selves in hermetically sealed bags labeled “baby,” they ran wild, and still do. You probably wouldn’t recognize Daucus Carota as carrot […]
Judging by the news, you may think that Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is staging an all out assault on England with the goal of total and complete occupation. And you’d […]
If you lived in Egypt circa 2500 BC and were incredibly rich, you may have spent many a Day of the Moon’s night sipping on cold pressed Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca […]
Let’s just be real. The Tree of Heaven, ailanthus altissima, is a badass.
In 322 BC Aristotle noted the exceptionally useful employment of mullein (verbascum thapsus) as a piscicide (fish poison) in his Historia Animālium. Gabriel Garcia Marquez also noted this use in Love in the time of Cholera 2307 years later.
If you were to ask the scientific historian and nature writer Neltje Blanchan about Woody Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), you may have received a poem in return.
How Portulaca Oleracea (Common Purslane) arrived to the New World is a mystery. For most of botanical history it was assumed to have been brought sometime after Cristoforo Colombo arrived […]
Of course such a thing couldn’t stand for long and so Hecate, the goddess of the knowledge of herbs fed the heroic Theseus Taraxacum (dandelion) greens for 30 days before sending him into the monster’s maze.
Artemisia vulgaris tastes good in beer, but that’s not how it got its common name, Mugwort. More of that later. Drinks first.
Originating in central and western China, the Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa), is often unsurprisingly described in both orientalist and misogynistic terms: showy, aggressive, ornamental, persistent, exotic, and invasive. The Princess Tree is my personal hero.
Meanwhile, the goons at Monsanto thought they would counter by spreading more of their toxic agent. But to no avail and there are some reports of Superweeds growing up to three inches a day.
Like its namesake, the Shaggy Soldier is apt to take up quarters in the homes of other plants, a clear violation of the third amendment if there ever was one.