Field of Science

Wicked plants this way come

The Phactor gets many unusual requests, and this morning in my favorite coffee shop, the lovely Jessica says she wishes to construct a display of "wicked plants", and asks me for ideas.  Wicked can mean many thing to many people, so with that in mind, help the Phactor out.  What plants are wicked?  At one extreme, there's Wicked Wanda, purveyor of Wicked Wanda's Leather and Lace.  Not quite sure what all she sells, but based on the window display of whips  and corsets you get a pretty good idea.  And then there's the wicked as in he throws a "wicked goggly" (and yes, TPP does know a bit of foreign language).  There must be other wickeds that apply to plants.  Let's help Jessica out, and fill the comments with suggestions!


mr_subjunctive said...

There's a book.

Among the more-accessible possibilities from the book:

Aconitum (monkshood)
Ricinus (castor bean)
Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil cactus)
Datura stramonium (jimson weed)
Brugmansia spp./cvv. (angel's trumpet)
Nerium oleander (oleander)
Rhododendron cvv.
Digitalis spp. (foxglove)
Helleborus spp. (hellebore)
Cycas spp. (sago palms)

Phil said...

Clitoria (ternata)? Amorphophallus?

Sally said...

I know we aren't supposed to call fungi plants anymore, but I always think of the 'shrooms and other cryptos in this context: witches' butter, dead man's fingers, devil's snuffbox, and so on.

So we could extend that to phaneros thusly: witches' broom, witchgrass, devil's claw, death camas, bloodroot, devil-weed, skullcap, bleeding heart. Snakeweed (not that snakes are wicked). Clearly works better with common names!

anerky said...

Calamus adspersus or basically any of their relatives.

Carnivorous plants in general are pretty 'wicked', regardless of which connotation you choose... so.. Nepenthes Alata maybe?

nycguy said...

Are you sure she's not just peddling plants watered by wicking:

The Phytophactor said...

Wicked Wanda wick waters wisteria?

The Phytophactor said...

mr subjunctive correctly points out the book "Wicked Plants". The wicked plant display is planned in anticipation of the author, Amy Stewart, giving a lecture/presentation at our institution. But not having read her book, and not having time right now to do so, this seemed a reasonable approach. Hopefully both it and she will be delightfully wicked.

John said...

Bracken, Pteridium aquilinum.

Unknown said...

Aralia spinosa
(Devil's walking stick)