Brunfelsia grandiflora

There are only digital plants in this illuminated website. 

Look for their stomata, especially here, in the images of Brunfelsia. 

These are the openings through which carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis enters. They also release oxygen. 

Perhaps this homage will encourage us all to reflect on our physical interconnections with the vegetal presences in our lives, something that Monica Gagliano elaborates on vividly in her profound recent book Thus Spoke the Plant

“Arising from perfect stillness, this deep breath of fresh air is the necessary movement that brings innovation and the expression of individuality, where the unique and the separate as the plant and the human are made temporarily possible. And this same inspired movement that generated them also unbinds them, incessantly releasing both the plant and the human into a space where the separate parts are dissolved. 

With every breath, then, the plant knows the human as herself. 

At every breath, the human becomes more plant-like than he realizes, and given the right circumstances, he recognizes how he too knows the plant as himself.” 

In One River, Wade Davis recounts the story that Timothy Plowman told him about a near-death experience he had as a result of ingesting an extract prepared by a Colombian shaman from the bark of this “important plant in the potato family used throughout the Northwest Amazon to treat fever.” Davis writes: “Only in this case the sensation grew to a maddening intensity, spreading from the lips and fingertips toward the center of the body, progressing up the spine to the base of the skull in waves of cold that flooded over his consciousness. His breathing collapsed. Dizzy with vertigo, he lost all muscular control and fell to the mud floor of the shaman’s hut. In horror, he realized that he was frothing at the mouth. An hour passed. Paralyzed and tormented by an excruciating pain in his stomach, he remained only vaguely aware of where he was—on the earth, face-to-face with three snarling dogs fighting over the vomit that spread in a pool around his head.”

In addition to using Brunfelsia to treat fever, arrow poisons are made from the roots of the plant by Amazonian Indigenous groups. 

The flowers are a dark purple the first day, a light lilac color the second and very white the third, a quality that has earned it the name “Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow” in the English-speaking world, where it is prized as a beautiful ornamental. 


Similar Posts