It's interesting to know how plants derive their names. The dumb cane is grown for its showy foliage and is popular in tropical gardens. But in its natural habi- tat it lives on the forest floor of Central and South America, where it is open to attack. For protection, its leaves and stem are filled with razor- sharp crystals of fast-acting poison. If an animal tries to eat the leaves, the crystals pierce the creature's mouth and the poison starts to work. It inflames the inside of the mouth and tongue, so that the animal finds it difficult to breathe. People, too, make the mistake of sampling the dumb cane's leaves. The victim may be unable to speak for several hours, hence the plant's name.
Glory be to God for dappled things- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The first flowering shrub I planted on our land
Every flower is a soul blooming in Nature.-Gerard De Nerval
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? -Henry David Thoreau