Field of Science

Whose testicles?

Here's one of those newsy little articles that's supposed to make us go wow!  Imagine that!  But really people you don't know much of anything.  Here's the article: "Turns out the word avocado comes from the Aztec word āhuacatlwhich means “testicle"". Naming plants after what they look like is nothing new, people have been doing it for centuries, and bawdy is not the least uncommon.  Walnuts, the genus Juglans, refers to Jupiter's testicles.  Does anyone need to be drawn a picture of the flowers in the legume genus Clitoria? Anyone want to guess why the maiden hair fern is so called? Leaf pinnae have a venation pattern that resembles pubic hair. TPP could go on, but you get the picture.  And oh, just one more example, the giant corpse flower (a really, really big jack-in-the-pulpit) is flowering at the Chicago Botanic Garden - "Sprout's" name is Amorphophallus titanum.  Is there anything phallic about it?  See for yourself.


Larissa said...

I'm glad this is about plants. The subject title had me a little nervous. :)

dhricenak said...

And let us not forget what The word "orchid" actually means.

The Phytophactor said...

Oh, those Greeks!