Thinking About Flora

As I sat in the drive through lane at Starbucks the other day I noticed that someone had tossed a used Starbucks cup in the Laurel bush planted in the corner around which drivers drove from the order sign to the pickup window.  I sat there mulling over that plant, wondering what it thought of being used as a trash can for someone, then thought further about plants in general and where humans choose to place them. Plants have little choice in where to be.  They germinate where their seeds land or they live in the pot or on the corner where humans place them, and that’s just their lot in life.

I wonder if plants have a hierarchy among themselves.  You got planted in a Starbucks drive through, I got planted on the edge of the governor’s mansion. Aren’t I the lucky one? But of course, this is a human construct, this version of higher in the hierarchy. In plant terms, maybe it’s totally different. You got planted in shallow soil with little drainage. I got planted in moist loam with plenty of room for my roots to expand. Aren’t I the lucky one? But I like shallow soil with little drainage; it is where I thrive. And the plant in the moist loam pouts because it couldn’t best the shallow soil plant.

I can even see plant junior high humor. Did you see Rhododendron over there? A dog peed on its lower branches! And the oak tree sapling and the crocus buds all snicker among themselves, as the Rhododendron droops in shame.

The corn would stand up and shout that it has controlled mankind, gotten it to plant corn from one end of the earth to the other. We, the corn, are superior! Or the wheat. Or the soybeans. Or the lawn grass, especially golf course lawn grass. We have what mankind wants and get it to put our seeds and roots everywhere!

I wonder how the plants feel about forced plant mating, putting a Gravenstein apple with a Fuji, or a Red Delicious with a Pippen, their little branches cut open and stuck onto one another, held together with plant tape and plastic. What if they didn’t want to mate with one another? They have no choice. Humans forcing apple rape.  Nice.

In any case, these were the thoughts that flitted through my brain as I sat in that drive through lane, waiting to buy and drink my socially acceptable drug.

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