TAXACOM Digest - 10 Sep 2005 to 11 Sep 2005 (#2005-200)

Erica Cline ecline at NT.ARS-GRIN.GOV
Mon Sep 12 09:12:08 CDT 2005

Hi Martin,

I did some searching on the web and came up with a reference to opium
derived from the poppy.  You may want to check out this website:

Erica Cline
Systematic Botany and Mycology Lab,
USDA-ARS, Beltsville

Date:    Sun, 11 Sep 2005 19:30:55 -0500
From:    Martin Dub=?ISO-8859-1?Q?=E9?= <martin at UMCE.CA>
Subject: Botany in Romeo and Juliet

Here is a question for those fellow botanists versed in Shakespeare's
writings (what I am not, obviously). This was first sent to me by a
certain Mr. Simons living in Ontario, Canada.

'In December I will be playing the role of Friar Laurence in a local
amateur production of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".  This character
is a Franciscan friar and botanist who attempts to use both his
spiritual wisdom and his scientific knowledge to help Romeo and Juliet
(to no avail, as everyone knows.)

In his very first speech in the play (Act II Scene 3), the friar is
giving a lecture on botany, which also extends into philsophy and
psychology.  He introduces his student to the concepts he is teaching by
showing him a plant, which he describes as follows:

"Within the infant rind of this small flower Poison hath residence, and
medicine power For this, being smelled, with that part cheers each part
Being tasted, stops all senses with the heart."

Just on the chance that there might be a real botanist in the audience,
I would like to identify and use on stage a plant which matches this
description.  That would mean some part of it would be fatally (or at
least seriously) poisonous and it would have a small flower whose scent
an aromatherapist would consider restorative.'

Thanks in advance.  Yours answers will be forwarded to that amateur



End of TAXACOM Digest - 10 Sep 2005 to 11 Sep 2005 (#2005-200)

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