Relax, it’s not toilet humour…. or perhaps it is.
Before I became a botanist I did sometimes use Public Conveniences and often they would be less nice than I would have liked.
Quite often there would be graffiti on the walls, sometimes it would be quite explicit in it’s nature.
This morning I wrote a post about Bellis perennis (Pretty Forever) and I did some sketches to illustrate the composition and particularly the different male and female parts of the flower. Something about my pictures, maybe the colour, reminded me of toilet doors and I just thought….
Well if botanists peed, what would they draw on the walls?
Bellis perennis, The Common Daisy
“Pretty Forever” you may know it as a Lawn Daisy. The common name Daisy is a corruption of “Day’s Eye” and is a reference to the way that the flower closes at night and opens in the Day.
Native to the UK and Europe it is widely naturalised in most temperate climates including the Americas and Australia.
Flowering time is often given as from May to September but here in the UK it is one of those flowers that can be found at any time of the year when it is reasonably mild. I will put it down as February to November but do not be too surprised to see it outside of that season. There are many more flowers in the warm summer months.
It is the only UK “Daisy” with a leafless flower stem.
A Daisy is not a flower. It is a flower head or inflorescence made up of dozens of little flowers. Each of the yellow bobbles in the centre is a whole flower in itself and is called a disc floret. Each of the petals is also a flower in itself, a different kind of flower called a ray floret.
I have done a sketch to try to explain. Each petal is a whole flower, the petal itself is the corolla, a name we use when the petals of a flower are fused together. At the base of the corolla there is an ovary, where the seed will develop and coming out of the ovary are the stigma, the female parts that collect pollen. A Daisy’s ray floret is a female flower.
Many of our common wildflowers are like this. They are members of the Asteraceae family, sometimes called the Composite family Sunflowers are composed in a similar way to a Daisy but other members of the family like Dandelions and Thistles are missing the disc florets and only have ray florets. Common Groundsel only has disc florets.
Species: Bellis perennis
I think that if we understood our own world better then we might understand our own selves a little bit better and that this is why botanists write on toilet walls (even though they don’t need to pee)
Is reproduction love or power?
Too late to ask me, I am old and I don’t care 🙂 Take it up kids.