Students of Ethnobotany: Mr. Potato-head’s beautiful but deadly cousin

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Angel’s Trumpet. Image from Wikimedia Commons by berichard.

This ultimate edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from Carina I., and teaches us that you can’t necessarily trust a plant just because it’s beautiful and comes from a good family.

Imagine this… you see a nice looking flower in a nearby garden, you take a whiff and BAM! Free will and the ability to reason are knocked right out of you! Sounds like a tale out of a science fiction story, doesn’t it?

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Students of Ethnobotany: Feed me, Seymour!

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Feed me Seymour! Audrey2. Image from Wikimedia Commons by KaiMartin.

This man-eating penultimate edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the fascinated Yvette Beesley.

When I was in my teens my parent were large supporters of the Arts and took me to this play called “The Little Shop of Horrors”. It was amazing, with a singing and dancing plant called Audrey2 that needed blood to survive.

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Students of Ethnobotany: There’s more to ginkgo than you think

This edition of Students of Ethnobotany, by G. Loi, looks more deeply into the medicinal uses of our smelly friend, the ginkgo.

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The ginkgo plant at the University of British Columbia. Picture taken in October 2013. Photo by G. Loi.

Which tree has no living relatives? Which tree was still standing after the Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945? Which tree has awful smelling seeds that can enhance memory? The Ginkgo biloba, a plant native to China. My first experience with the ginkgo plant was when I was shelling the white seeds and picking out the fruit to make congee for my mother when she was sick. The slightly bitter and bland taste did not make much of an impression for me. It was not until much later, that I realized how the history and the uses of the ginkgo were so diverse and curious.

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