I love plants. You do too, whether you’re in touch with your vegephilia or not. Everything you eat or smoke and practically everything you drape on your body or put in your car to make it go derives directoy or indirectly from the vegetable kingdom. Plants are part and parcel of our environment. In fact, when most of us visualize any sort of environment other than “urban” (though there are plenty of plants in the city) we invariably populate the scene with a pleasing panoply of plant matter.  Survey the vegetable residents of your neighborhood, as Laurent, the man who makes Berry Go Round go round, recently did on his Grille Noire Bioblitz, and you’ll be blown away by the biodiversity.

Moonflower by Corey

Without flora, there simply are no fauna, which explains why well-stocked seed banks are so critical to our long-term survival.  Ecology is all about relationships; the purpose of this edition of Berry Go Round is to consider just a handful of the infinite interconnections between specific plants and other organisms or products.

Without Divi divi flowers, you won’t have Blue Tigers, Common India Crows, or any of the other startling wildlife in Guindy National Park.

Without Arrowhead, which I know fondly as duck potato, you won’t have as many well-fed beavers, muskrats, or porcupines.

Without Citrus fruits from pummelos to papedas to Poorman oranges, you won’t have so many delicious recipes OR troubled taxonomists.

Without cocoa trees, you won’t have exquisite Cacau flowers (or, for that matter, Hershey’s Kisses.)

Without trees to pulp into paper, you can’t have books about Extraordinary Leaves or Our Intimate Connections to Trees (ironic, isn’t it?)

Without zucchini, you can’t have Mom’s zucchini bread.

Without moss filaments like Protonema and Rhizoids, you won’t have, well, moss!

Sometimes these connections aren’t enough. After all, an abundance of avocado fruits was necessary but not sufficient for the original avocado fan, Megatherium americanum to endure. In addition, some relationships might best be described as inverse. For example, without fleabane (or smoke from the burning thereof) you’d probably have a lot more fleas and other insect pests. Then again, without certain other plants, we wouldn’t have to deal with those pests in the first place. As vegetation giveth, vegetation taketh away.

In conclusion, take care of your plants and they will take care of you. Keep those you love properly watered and fed, be sure to participate in the next edition of Berry Go Round, and don’t buy any blue bananas!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.