The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
Trypophobia is the fear of clustered holes like those shown in the lotus seed pod above. The lotus seed is the classic example of the sort of holes that frighten trypophobics, but sponges, soap bubbles and even aerated chocolate can be triggers. Trypophobia is not recognized in pyschiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but it is present in 16 percent of people, according to a new study in Psychological Science, which is the first to address the strange fear.
“The stimuli are usually clusters of holes of any variety that are almost always innocuous and seemingly pose no threat,” the authors note. But they induce visceral reactions all the same.
“[I] can’t really face small, irregularly or asymmetrically placed holes, they make me like, throw up in my mouth, cry a little bit, and shake all over, deeply,” one trypophobe involved in the study said. My apparently trypophobic friend Monica says of the lotus seed pod: “That photo actually makes me want to stab my eyes out.”
If a phobia can be “popular,” this one is topping the charts in the public consciousness lately. People have even taken to Photoshopping hole-y horror shows to troll their friends on Facebook. (Sorry if the lotus set you off!) In any case, if your trypophobia is severe, I suggest taking an active role in avoiding our Conservatory Pools during summer. It’ll do you good. —MN
What’s beautiful now? Easy-peasy: the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory! And everything inside, outside, and around it in any dimensional capacity. Summer in a greenhouse may seem redundant, but right now it’s such a deluge of color that I have to make the point anyhow.
Passion flowers, coneflowers, lollipop plants, lotus blooms, thistles, lilies, and all the classic beauties to be found in The Italian Renaissance Garden—that’s just a tiny sampling. With Wild Medicine at its peak and changing daily, there’s such a rainbow to surround yourself with. But the flowers speak for themselves, huh? —MN
(P.S. — Unless noted otherwise, our WBN photos are always by the stately gentleman known as Ivo Vermeulen.)
We move into summer viewing the calendar through a kaleidoscope. Everywhere you look, the palette shifts. The hydrangeas nudge the Mosholu Gate toward a blue period, eponymous blooms train up the Daylily Walk like streaks of fire. In the Native Plant Garden, the wildflowers sit around like constellations.
The Rose Garden is still chugging along, and the Greenmarket's fruits and vegetables look uncannily like their still-life opposites. But my personal favorite, and something you'll see if you hop out to the Conservatory Courtyard while you’re here, is the start of the lotus blossoms. They’re the size of popcorn bowls. —MN
Anyone else feeling slightly jaded about the fact that this week effectively contains two Mondays? Yeah. Me too. So, to help ease you past the second-Monday-but-not-actually-Monday midday slump, here are some lotuses and water lilies (including ‘Ray Davies’ (but, no, not that Ray Davies)) currently in bloom as part of Monet’s Garden. Hope it helps!~AR
Anna Laurent’s quest to obtain the most prized seed pod in her collection—that of the lotus flower—leads her through curio shops in Chelsea, daydreams of Far Eastern market stalls, and the garden of a botanically-inclined opera singer known as Madame Walska. It’s a pleasant story to tie into the case of this strange, well-adapted (and edible) plant. —MN
As the pod of the lotus matures to a dry brown and its compartments open up, it bends toward the water and releases its seeds. Each is then carried off to start a life elsewhere (which can take some time—sometimes decades—as lotus seeds are notoriously stubborn when it comes to germination).