Josna Rege

344. Tropical Botanicals

In Stories on September 22, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Re-posting a story from several years ago and longing for a return to tropical climes as the chill begins to creep into this part of the world. Happy Autumnal Solstice!

Tell Me Another

Rhizophora mangle, or Red Mangrove ( Rhizophora mangle, or red mangrove (

Forty years ago, in April 1975, a group of us in the co-op house at university decided to go down to Key West, Florida for our Spring Break. We drove non-stop, getting from Boston to the northern border of the state in just 24 hours, and headed first to Miami. Unusually for college students on Spring Break, our first destination was not the beach, but, because we had a budding botanist among us, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Once there, we made a beeline for the area where the Garden maintains a small simulated tropical rainforest; visiting that hot, moisture-drenched paradise alone made our entire trip worthwhile.

Erythoxylum coca Erythoxylum coca (

Peter, our resident botanist, had inside knowledge about the Garden; he knew the exact location of plants that were not labeled for fear that they would be stripped and stolen. The plant he took us…

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  1. Hi Josna,
    That was a great tour of the world of plants.
    It’s interesting that some of the narcotics have medicinal properties.

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