Tundra cloud(berrie)s

by Briana Jasinski I was first introduced to cloudberries via the name of a man-made structure. This structure was a slowly dilapidating bed-and-breakfast called The Cloudberry, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, and its wooden turrets rose up like an enchanted castle above the stunted boreal black spruce forest. It was used as field housing in the rainy summer of 2014 when I received my first botany technician job. Little did I know, the Cloudberry would recur in my life, over and over — but in the form of a small plant. The cloudberry; Rubus chamaemorus; bakeapple; salmonberry; is widespread across the arctic. It is a sweet, soft, dreamsicle berry, with a muted taste reminiscent of oranges, cre

Love at First Sight

by Melissa Serenda I met the [botanic] love of my life around fifteen years ago, at the greenhouse of my local garden store. I always loved visiting greenhouses, with the lush leaves in all shades of green and the delicious scent of plants, earth, and fertilizer; the whirring fans and the huge variety of plants. I had just moved into an apartment with my future husband, and was always on the lookout for new houseplants to adopt and bring home to furnish our nest. A small shelf of plants labeled “prayer plants” caught my eye, with their lovely herringbone patterns and reddish stripes. I knew very little about plants in general, although I was aware of the prayer plant’s tendency to fold up it

Buuck's Bunny Barn and the 20 Acre Wood

by Rachelle the Drunk Phytologist Looking back, my whole childhood was a plant and nature love story, complete with a 20 acre playground. Growing up on a show rabbit farm in Northeastern Indiana allowed me to explore, dream, and get dirty. I made little moats in the mud of my mom's garden to water her bedding plants, picked fruits out of our orchard, and jumped into our pond on a hot day to gather pond weed and algae for an impromptu Loch Ness monster costume. As a nerdy kid who loved to read, I would take my books and climb the white cedar by my house to curl up on a branch and escape to another world. The white cedar was planted when my grandmother was a girl, and years later was given the

A Rose by Any Name

by Erin Rose The first time I remember receiving roses it was in the traditional dozen red bouquet. At the time I was touched, I loved the old-fashioned meaning behind the elegant flowers. I pointedly chose to ignore that the bouquet was an apology masked in love. I didn’t like roses for a long while after that. But I had no objection to the wild roses that appeared in the brambles, hardy and pink, with delicious rosehips in the fall. Over time I grew fond of these roses, their tenacious nature and their simplicity. The wild roses of the Pacific Northwest, where I live, are quite adaptable to their environment and are bold in their presence. They don’t need much to be so much. Years later I