A plant pundit comments on plants, gardening, academic life, and life in general.
The Phytophactor's Latest Posts
Some educational tour organization called TPP and wondered if he had ever considered organizing any educational travel for his students. Since 1996 we've taken a rainforest ecology class to Costa Rica annually. Who organizes your trip? We do, with the help of the university's travel agent to book flights. How long is your trip? About 2 weeks long. Great! We'd like to see your itinerary and let you compare costs with some tours that we organize. Ah. Well, we don't have an […]
Nothing can be more depressing than election season here in Lincolnland. The state presently has a governor who ascended to office when the feds locked up his predecessor in a special prison kept just for disgraced politicians. This fellow is not a crook, not ethically challenged, but not particularly effective either. Yawn. The opposition sees the governorship as a vulnerable position, so lots of wannabees have emerged and in another week we citizens get to choose among them for a worthy […]
Presently the area is getting it's first significant thaw since mid-December. Since the amount of snow was a local record (a piddly amount compared to snow belt snowfalls) masses of snow got piled in lots of places, sort of small man-made glaciers, and now they are beginning to melt. Melting glaciers deposit the sediments they've picked up in moraines. Now in a very similar manner, as all the snow-pile glaciers retreat, all the crap that was discarded all winter is being exposed and […]
The Chi-town Trib had an article today about botanical names for people, well, actually for babies because that's when they get named, and it seems only for girls. Why are flower and plant names perceived as feminine? Do Maple and Clover sound like girls? What about Lilac? What about Filbert? That sounds rather masculine, but a bit nutty. How about Nellia? That one is basically undiscovered both as a flowering shrub and a baby name. […]
Not too many people notice these little pink flowers on a little shrub in our glasshouse. Most people think it's some kind of miniature holly because of its leathery leaves with spiny margins, and that's what Malpighia coccigera is called some times. This species is a close relative of the Barbados cherry (M. glabra). The fruit of both species is a bright red berry/drupe, but the former's fruit is pretty small. It's sort of unusual to see petals on stalks, but the sepals peeking […]
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