The plants found in A BOTANIST'S GUIDE TO FLOWERS AND FATALITY in chronological order.
CALLUNA VULGARIS, HEATHER
Iconic plants of moors and heathland.
ATROPA BELLADONNA, DEADLY NIGHTSHADE
A poisonous plant with tempting berries that can lead to hallucinations. It was used as a cosmetic centuries ago, the juice used as eyedrops to dilate the pupils. Its colloquial name, belladonna, means "beautiful woman" in Italian.
A genus of flowering plants known as foxgloves, towering bell-like flowers that contain digitalin, whose cardiac effects can be medicinal or deadly.
LOBELIA CARDINALIS, CARDINAL FLOWER
Native to the Americas, this flowering plant grows in damp places and contains alkaloids which intoxicate and poison when consumed in large quantities. Supposedly named for the similarity of the red shade of the flowers to to the vesture of Roman Catholic Cardinals.
Honeysuckles are arching shrubs or twining vines in the genus Lonicera, valued for their fragrant scent and sweet-tasting flowers. Some species grow edible berries, and the berries of others contain toxins that are harmful in large quantities.
DATURA STRAMONIUM, JIMSON WEED
Called by many names, such as thorn apple, jimson weed, devil's snare, or devil's trumpet, this flowering plant belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae, and shares the tropane alkaloids that characterize many of the other plants in that family.
OENANTHE CROCATA, WATER HEMLOCK DROPWORT
This member of the carrot family grows in damp soils, often along river and stream banks. All parts of the plant are extremely toxic and is known to poison humans and livestock alike for its similarity to edible members of the genus. Its roots are pale and long, giving it the nickname, "Dead Man's Fingers."
Recently, scientists in Italy declared that they had identified Oenanthe crocata as the plant responsible for producing the sardonic grin of Greek mythology fame.
The family of flowering plants, characterized by their lacy flowers, containing some of the most famous poisonous plants in the world: hemlock, water hemlock, cowbane, and water dropwort, as well as phototoxic plants.
SOLANDRA XOLOTUM, THE XOLOTL VINE
A violently yellow-green vine discovered originally in the forests of southern Mexico named for the Aztec god of lightning and death.
This creation is not one of Mother Nature's, but one of Kate Khavari's. It doesn't exist, though the solandra genus is in the nightshade family and therefore known to be dangerous.
PUNICA GRANATUM, POMEGRANATE TREE
These trees were originally grown in the Mediterranean, and have since spread all over the world. They are prized for their large, red fruits containing hundreds of jewel-like fruited seeds. The name comes from Latin: "pomum" meaning apple, and "grānātum" meaning seeded.
RANUNCULUS ACRIS, COMMON BUTTERCUP
Though this is considered a common meadow flower throughout Europe and now the world, the sap contains ranunculin, which can cause abdominal pains and intestinal disorders, as well as topical blistering, giving the plant its species name, "acris," meaning sharp.
AGAVE AMICA, TUBEROSE
Formerly Polianthes tuberosa (as well as a number of other scientific names before it was settled in its current taxonomy), this flowering plant originates in Mexico and its scent is used in perfumes. It was a favorite of Louis XIV of France, who supposedly planted them en mass to cover the stench of poor sanitation.
A large genus of flowering plants that includes azaleas, and belongs to the heath family, Ericaceae. Known and grown for their large, colorful flowers. Beware thorns in some species.
It carries heavy cultural significance in the area of its origin, near the Himalayas, where it is also used to flavor sweet drinks.
This flowering plant genus goes by many names: aconite, monkshood, wolf's-bane, leopard's bane, mousebane, women's bane, devil's helmet, queen of poisons, and blue rocket. Dangerously poisonous thanks to the chemical aconitine.
URTICA DIOICA, NETTLE
The surface of the broad leaves are covered in hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which inject on contact chemicals that produce a stinging sensation.
The well-loved genus of flowering shrubs prized for their colors and scents.
SALVIA ROSMARINUS, ROSEMARY
An evergreen shrub known for its fragrant leaves and bee-attracting, small blooms. Used as an herb for cooking and a medicinal.
Until 2017, it was known by the scientific name Rosmarinus officinalis.
Today, the hydridization of several species from the Melanium subsection of the Viola genus is called Viola × wittrockiana, the garden pansy. It has its origins in England in the 1800's, and it is closely related to the wild pansy, Viola tricolor.
Both are descendants of plants belonging to the Viola genus, which include some 500 species of flowering plants.
The Strychnos genus contains a number of toxic species, ranging from South America to south Asia. Alexander likely refers to Strychnos toxifera, a flowering vine found in Central and South America, including the Amazon, and not the more famous Strychnos nux-vomica, which grows in southeast Asia.
Many members of Strychnos have been known to contain alkaloid poisons used in curare, which coats the tips of poison arrows.
MANGIFERA INDICA, MANGO TREE
Mangifera indica has been cultivated in regions of Asia since ancient times for its sweet fruit, leading to two specific cultivars: the "Indian type" and the "Southeast Asian type."
No part of Mangifera indica is poisonous, but those who are allergic may experience contact dermatitis and/or anaphylaxis when they come into contact with mango trees, their sap and fruit in particular. Neither Dr. Henry nor Alexander are allergic.
PHYLLOSTACHYS EDULIS, MŌSŌ BAMBOO
An edible species of bamboo wich is reported to grow up to three feet a day and reach 100 feet tall.
The two species within this genus, Erythroxylum coca and Erythroxylum novogranatense, are originally from the slopes of Andes in South America. Native peoples were known to chew the leaves of the coca plant as a mild stimulant. It gained international renown and infamy in the last century for its part in the creation of the drug cocaine.
SOLANUM NEGRUM, BLACK NIGHTSHADE
A flowering and fruit-giving plant which is generally considered edible, though the immature fruit and uncooked leaves can be toxic.
Solanum nigrum is often confused for the more toxic Atropa belladonna (see above) owing to the similarity in appearance of their berries.
BRASSICA RAPA L. SSP. RAPA, TURNIP
An edible plant grown in temperate climates around the world, producing a bulbous white and purple root and leafy tops that are often compared to mustard greens for their appearence and flavor.
PAEONIA OFFICINALIS, PEONY
A flowering species that is prized for its lush blossoms and intense fragrance.
A shrub bearing large clusters, or inflorescences, of flowers (otherwise known as a corymb) that bloom in summer and autumn. The color of the flowers depends on the acidity of the soil: blue is produced when the soil is acidic, and pink when the soil is alkaline.
CAMPANULA TRACHELIUM, COVENTRY BELLS
A hairy species of bellflower given the folk Coventry bells because it was especially common in fields around Coventry.
AJUGA REPTANS, BUGLEWEED
A flowering plant in the mint family that has an erect growth habit and hairy stems.
ATHYRIUM NIPONICUM, JAPANESE PAINTED FERN
A species of fern known for its thick colonies of silver-green fronds with red midribs.
MYOSOTIS SCORPIOIDES, FORGET-ME-NOT
A blue flowering plant in the borage family that prefers wet ground and can survive submerged in water, and even forms floating rafts.
The developing buds form in scorpioid cymes, curling to resemble a scorpion's tail.
ECHIUM VULGARE, VIPER'S BUGLOSS
A flowering plant in the borage family that was used in ancient times to treat snake bites. Like nettle, it is covered in trichomes, but unlike nettle, they do not contain chemicals, merely irritating human skin by breaking it.
Like Myosotis scorpioides, the developing buds form in scorpioid cymes, curling to resemble a scorpion's tail.
CITRUS LIMON, LEMON TREE
Citrus tree known for producing lemons. Originating in Asia, it is a hybrid between bitter orange and citron.
CITRUS SINENSIS, ORANGE TREE
One of many species known for producing oranges. Orangewood can use be used to smoke meats in order to flavor them.
There are several species of citrus trees whose fruits are called limes, but almost all are typified by small, spherical green fruits.
Different classifications have assigned kumquat plants anywhere from a single species to numerous species representing each cultivar, but all bear small orange fruit around the same size as a large olive. They originate in Southern China and are popular throughout Asia.
CITRUS BERGAMIA, BERGAMOT
The bergamot is a citrus fruit native to southern Italy. The fruit is known to be sour and bitter, but the aromatic peel is used to flavor food and drink, famously providing the citrus flavor to Earl Gray tea.
ANTHRISCUS SYLVESTRIS, QUEEN ANN'S LACE
Also known as cow parsley, this upright flowering plant is a member of the Apiaceae family and shares in some of their toxic properties.
HYACINTHOIDES NON-SCRIPTA, BLUEBELL
A spring-blooming plant which produces sweet-smelling blue flowers which droop toward the ground.
Fall-blooming flowering plant genus with culinary and cultural significance in Southeast Asia.
RUDBECKIA HIRTA, RUDBECKIA
Characterized by tall cone centers and even taller stems, these wildflowers are native to North America. The genus was named for the patron and fellow botanist to Carolus Linnaeus (the father of modern scientific nomenclature), Olof Rudbeck the Younger.
ANEMONASTRUM CANADENSE, ANENOME
Also called windflowers, these are fall-blooming have been cultivated in the Far East for centuries.
CALENDULA OFFICINALIS, MARIGOLD
These flowers are short-lived, but can bloom year-round in the right conditions. They are used for a variety of practical and cultural purposes, including as food and dye.
The Viola genus is large, comprising both pansies and violets. Violets are the smaller of the two. They have a number of cultural associations, from being candied on deserts to representing lives lost in the Great War in Australia and New Zealand.
A fragrant vine from tropical South America and Central America. The species is named caracalla, related to Portuguese "caracol", meaning snail. Thomas Jefferson called this plant "the most beautiful bean in the world."
They produce edible fruits, which can be ground with sugar to make a coffee-like drink, protected by layers of thorns.
The word "mistol" derives from colonial era Spanish, from the word "mixture" (mezcla) since it was believed that mistol was a hybrid between species of genus Schinopsis