ACacia confusa

ALex Gearin


"Acacia confusa is woven into Chinese literary classics as an agent of love, yearning and grief that often includes stories of family and political waring and turmoil [...] During the last decade, Acacia confusa has pierced the human cranium and sensory faculties in a dramatic fashion among a newly formed subculture of Western societies. Beyond the awareness of the melancholic lovers of Chinese literature, members of an underground psychedelic culture discovered the plant embodies potent psychoactive alkaloids that can blast human consciousness into radically different states of perception, when the plant is prepared and consumed appropriately." 


Ayahuasca

Luis eduardo Luna


"Don Emilio referred to ayahuasca as abuelo, grandpa. Many other people called it madre ayahuasca, some describing in detail how they communicated with its spirit. I have never had what I would call a direct contact with an entity personifying the plant itself, although I have often seen entities of many kinds, at times approaching me. This is a common motif not only of yagé, ayahuasca, and other sacred plans, but of the DMT molecule, as exemplified in Rick Strassman’s work. Now, what kind of mind or minds am I tapping into? Do they directly have volition? Is it the mind of the plants, of higher intelligence permeating our planet, the mind of the planet itself, of the solar system, of the galaxy, of the whole universe? If it is the mind of the plant, does she have an inner horizon limited to the history of her own individuality, or does it include her parent plants, the whole species, or even a collective plant mind that stretches beyond present time and space? If she has a self, what kind of self is it? Is it like mine, always fluid, sometimes intensively present, more often though barely conscious? If she has a self, is it more present sometimes than others? Is the seed more awake when landing on suitable ground than when hanging on a branch? Is it more present at night, when it grows, or when the sun suddenly reaches her from behind a cloud? Is she more present when she feels the rain, or when is being attacked by an insect or fungi? Is she aware of the trillions of microorganisms inhabiting her? Is she more aware of herself when inside me? Is she also connecting with a self much larger than herself, larger still than me? "

 


Apple 

sarah laborde


"The Mols apples are perfect: beautiful and supportive of life. Yet they result notfrom arduous work from the tree, but emerge instead from its good relationshipswith the soil and microbes, light, other trees, water, animals, people: from the appletreefeeling at home. [...] To be creative like an apple tree is to be free, to do whatoneisand be joyful in the process and the produce, which are one. "


banyan tree 

john ryan


"Wherever I now go in Java, I see banyans, spindly and stout, boulder-hugging and tree-smothering, solitary streetside and gregarious in groves. I have become banyan-minded — attuned to the tree’s mode of meaning-making. The banyan mind is a confluence of mindings: human, bird, wasp, Buddha. Not circumscribed by brain, mind permeates world. At this critical juncture in earth history, entraining to banyan mindfulness could help us avert catastrophe and come to live with — and within — the intelligence of all that exists. "


bean 

andre parise & Gabriel toledo


"The dance of ions within the brain or within the plant cells is the framework that allows the mind to exist and function. And everything that happens and is perceived by a brain or plant is encoded into electrical signals. The plants lack the constellation of neurons that keeps the memories in the brain, but certainly, they have other means for storing past experiences: we still do not know how it happens."


birdflower

kirli saunders


"... crossed candied plain

to hold velvet wings

in the space 

between finger and thumb...

 

... traced toes

in bloodied mud

just to lace 

green petal

in the place

of palm

turned upward

toward Grandfather Sun..."


bloodroot

Craig Holdredge


"Remarkably, while bloodroot is flowering, its single leaf continues to enwrap the flower stalk and only gradually begins to open. In this phase of its development, bloodroot reveals a special two-fold gesture: openness and luminance in the flower above, and the restrained enclosing gesture of the protective leaf below. It is this gesture that struck me many years ago when I started to notice bloodroot, and each year it continues to speak strongly."

 


cacao

jonathon miller weisberger


"Softly, Memo continued, “In compassion for humanity, the Creator gave the first people three types of Cacao so they could live well: a sweet variety to share and to enjoy in festivals, a simple variety to eat every day as food, and a bitter variety for healing all illness.” […] “We have made a most impressive discovery. This region undeniably is the origin site of Theobroma cacao, the chocolate tree!” On the equator, along the eastern foothills of Cordillera Napo-Galeras, a mountain known in local folklore as the “End-of-the-World-Jaguar Mountain,” is the origin of the Cacao tree."

 


corn

esthela calderon

"Now that time has almost placed fifty years on my back and the world’s population is feeling the shock of COVID-19, a novel virus that has unleashed fear, sickness, isolation and death, I have to say that my days are easier to bear if I reconnect with the little girl I was in a place [Nicaragua] where the cultivation of corn was a fundamental part of family life.  It’s as if the mind of this indispensable plant (that is part of my own Amerindian culture) was connected to mine by means of my memories [...]


My favorite moment, the one I always hoped would come soon, was when the stalks were a little taller than I was. Then I could run in between the rows, and it was like traveling through cool tunnels.  I can close my eyes now and still feel the playful way that the rough arms of each plant would caress my face.  I would sing below them, convinced that they were listening to me because I could also intuit how happy they were to see me. Not all of them moved in the same way when they were touched by the wind. My heart could feel that the movements and sounds were louder in the row where I was running. When I would finally stop, covered with sweat and tired, I sensed a joy that I have rarely felt as an adult." 

cornish mallow

laura ruggles


"Memory is neither intrinsically animal-like, nor only found in brains. There is a whole world of fascinating creatures, like the Cornish mallow, that we are just beginning to explore in our efforts to uncover and understand the forms and varieties of memory outside of animal brains. "

crabapple

mauricio tolosa

 

"I felt that through meditation and contemplation in my relationship with the crabapple tree I had reached altered states of consciousness or extraordinary openings equivalent to those produced by peyote or ayahuasca […] It is evident that there is an interaction, not only because of the unquestionable effect of the major entheogenic plants but also the effect of many garden plants, such as rosemary, mint or lemon balm."

eastern white pine

robin kimmerer

 

"The indigenous story tradition speaks of a past in which all beings spoke the same language and life lessons flowed among species. But we have forgotten, or been made to forget how to listen, so that all we hear is sound, emptied of its meaning. The soft sibilance of pine needles in the wind is an acoustic signature of pines. But this well-known “whispering of pines” is just a sound, it is not their voice. What if you were a great teacher, a holder of knowledge and vessel of stories, but had no audible voice with which to speak? What if your listeners presumed you to be mute, save for the passive whispering of your needles? How would you bring your truth into the world? Wouldn’t you dance your story in branch and root? Wouldn’t you write it in the eloquence of cellulose? In the lasting archive of wood? Plants tell their stories not by what they say but by what they do. They tell their story in their bodies, in an alphabet once as familiar as the song of every bird, which we have also forgotten, as we became afflicted not only with plant blindness, but plant deafness as well. "

Jibóia

guto nobrego


"Recognizing other natural species as intelligent beings, overcoming our prejudice against their apparent lack of language, is the first step to recognizing the non-separability that unifies us as spiritual entities […]

As an artist, I see plants as a complex multi-dimensional system of knowledge, rich enough to offer the art process ways of exploring the edges of reality and to creatively to expand our belief systems […] The grace of entheogenic plants such as tobacco and the ayahuasca is a legacy from mother nature that cannot be ignored as a path to enter into the forests of consciousness."

Olive Tree

Patrícia Vieira


"I had always liked olive trees, their sturdy trunk, their perennial green-greyish leaves and their unmenacing, but quietly determined demeanor. [...]
I wondered whether the trees liked to be so orderly lined up, as if they were soldiers in a parade, or getting ready for a battle that would never arrive. [...]
My son’s young olive tree looked fragile, slightly bent by the cold northern winds so frequent that time of year. Where did it come from? Who were its family members, what was its cultivar? Would it yield extra virgin olive oil, were its olives ever to be pressed? "

Sago plant

Sophie Chao 


"Like other forest plants and animals, the relations of sago palms to their human kin are anchored in principles of exchange and care. Sago grows to support Marind by providing them with food and other resources. In return, humans must exercise respect and perform rituals as they encounter and process sago in the forest, recall its stories, and consume its starch. These reciprocal acts of care enable humans and sago to sustain each other’s growth as inter-agentive members of a shared community of life within the eco-cosmology of the forest."

splintered oak

solvejg nitzke


"In a city [Dresden, Germany] that is not in any way short of memorials, the Splintered Oak is a curious exception: a tree is neither a building nor a ruin — reconstructed or not — nor, for that matter, a place. Splittereiche is a living being that resists the memorial duties imposed on it and subverts the ideas of memory as an exclusively human possession. However, though it is not an artifact, the tree was planted by humans, in a human-built park, cared for by gardeners and ‘tree-experts’, who have invested considerable resources to keep her alive. But why is that? What can this tree tell people that books and memorials cannot? Does she stand for something or with someone? Could it be that the Splintered Oak is a witness rather than a memorial, a fellow survivor -- one of the few beings that can still actively communicate its experience?"

suicide tree 

afshin  akhtar-khavari

“The Tachigalia versicolor is a socially embodied living thing; and by that, I mean that it’s physical life represents something much more meaningful than cellular growth. The tree was clearly more than just a trunk or seeds that it produced; it was more than an autonomous and individual material object in a forest. It appeared to live a meaningful life, but not for the sake of human beings. The tree was socially significant without human beings doing anything to it.” 

sunflower

megan ljubotina & james cahill


"An ethogram is simply a dictionary or catalogue of behaviours observed in a type of animal, and in animals they can be and often are produced through the careful observation of animal subjects. No special equipment is necessarily required, other than a pen and paper. An ethogram for a plant simply could not be produced in this way: in the course of their living, and doing, and behaving, plants do not provide much of the visual or auditory stimuli we are particularly attuned to as human beings. And yet as scientists working in the field of plant behaviour, there is something captivating about the idea of such a comprehensive list for a single species, something that emphasizes the diversity of behaviour that can be found in just one of over a quarter of a million of species of plants that we share a planet with. It is appealing as plant behaviourists to imagine a world where one could sit, and spend some time with a plant, and be able to easily observe exactly what it did as the environment changed. In the course of watching, we would see sunflowers actively solve some of the fundamental problems in their lives. "

Tea 

Janice lee


"We might consider the tea leaf, that part of the plant from which tea is produced, the paradigmatic form of openness: it absorbs from the atmosphere around it and is permeable, constantly open to influence by the world without being overwhelmed or destroyed by it. For plants, to exist, to be in the world, means to make world, every action within is also an action without and without passivity, they exercise their will on the world."

Toad lily 

Kathleen Gutierrez 


"On September 18, 1974, Philippine newspaper Bulletin Today, known currently as Manila Bulletin, published an article by Rodolfo Mallari entitled “New Philippine Lily named after First Lady.” It announced that my father’s plant discovery during “an ethno botanical expedition to the Tasaday’s mountain forest lair” had been named after Imelda Marcos.” […] …Filipino intellectuals turned toad lily against toad lily. They used the Tricyrtis imeldae’s frog-like appearance to demean Imelda. The flower’s bewitching exterior concealed a gummy sap to capture unwary frogs. This sticky analogy was prescient."

ugly Hornwort

prudence gibson


Spell 1 

For the Hornwort.

 

Coolant of stings and comfort of swelling

Green pendant swinging on a string of barbed envy,
 These pages are too heavy to turn alone.
 Help me find the spell to return to watery depths
 Where friendly mosses and liverworts comfort in the change
 Single celled spores and swimming biflagellate,
 Plants that moved from sea to shore
 May return without ressentiment poison 
Clutching at their roots.