On the cultural significance of a plant: mate.

This video explores sustainability and the significant role a single plant can play in augmenting or defining a culture.  It’s going into rotation with my botany students.  Check it out here.

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One River

I am re-reading a book in preparation for a lecture I was invited to give.  It may be the book that has most influenced my life; it definitely convinced me to become a botanist, to knock on doors until I found someone who would willingly let me join their lab and travel to the tropics in search of ethnobotanical knowledge.

As I re-read the book, I recall the spirit of its influence but the story seems so new to me.  Since I read the book initially, I have lived and become accustomed to the story it tells.  I had become so immersed in the world of tropical ethnobotany that I had forgotten that most of the stories I came to know so well were first introduced to me here.  In fact, as I read it now it almost seems as though the magical story of my own research and explorations are told here as well, as though they parallel the narrative.  Reading it once more is incredibly inspiring.

 

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