“Plants make nectar to feed insects and other animals so they’ll spread their pollen. When insects feed on caffeine-spiked nectar, they get a beneficial buzz: they become much more likely to remember the scent of the flower. This enhanced memory may make it more likely that the insect will revisit the flower and spread its pollen further.”—
I loved that post about the bitters. I'm partway through memorizing The Drunken Botanist at this point simply due to how FASCINATING this all is.
So good! We actually had Amy Stewart speaking here a couple of weeks ago. She was taking part in our Weird, Wild, & Wonderful botanical discussion and booksigning alongside Elizabeth Gilbert. And she just so happened to supply a couple of the recipes we used for the evening’s cocktail bar.
I find even those least inclined to enjoy botany can at least appreciate the fact that all of our nightcaps come from some sort of plant. “They give us oxygen and alcohol” is a good open and shut response to anyone rolling eyes at the study of vegetation. —MN
P.S. – If any of you out there haven’t picked up The Drunken Botanist, it comes highly recommended from all corners of the plant world.
Does the NYBG have a library? I'm a beginning library science student and my dream job/internship would be at a botanical garden library!
Of course! The LuEsther T. Mertz Library is one of the foremost plant research libraries in the country, with an unparalleled rare book collection, and the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium is one of the largest collections of plant specimens in the world. Today just happens to mark the inaugural symposium of the Library’s new Humanities Institute, which will begin sponsoring fellowships in 2015. Perhaps one will be you!