The Wizard of Botany

“It is well for people who think,
to change their minds occasionally
in order to keep them clean.”
Luther Burbank

The Wizard of Botany

Luther Burbank and his dog Bonita circa 1925

 

I bet when you hear the word French fry, you associate it with the French or the Belgium who actually invented this recipe. But there’s one man you would never in a million years have guessed was responsible for the modern French fry. That man was Luther Burbank, a famous American botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science. He created a disease resistant potato named the Russet Burbank potato which is the main source of McDonald’s French fries and most all French fry fast food.

Burbank made it his life‘s work to create new varieties of plants, ranging from flowers, fruits and even cacti. He is credited with creating over 800 new varieties of plants and received 16 plant patents.

He was one of the first botanist to cross pollinate fruits and flowers spending decades perfecting this cross pollination. For example, he cross pollinated plums and apricots to get the plumcot as well as cross pollinated four different types of daisies and spent 17 years to create the Shasta Daisy.

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy

Not only a talented botanist admired for his work but also admired for his generosity and kind spirit. He was very interested in education and gave money to local schools. One US Senator stated, “he is doing more to instruct, interest, and make popular the work in the garden than any man of his generation.”

At seventy-seven years old, Burbank said: “I love humanity, which has been a constant delight to me during all my life; I love flowers, trees, animals, and all the works of Nature as they pass before us in time and space. What a joy life is when you have made a close working partnership with Nature, helping her to produce for the benefit of mankind new forms, colors, and perfumes in flowers which were never known before; fruits in form, size, and flavor never before seen on this globe; and grains of enormously increased productiveness, whose fat kernels are filled with more and better nourishment, a veritable storehouse of perfect food—new food for all the world’s untold millions for all time to come.”

Today, most people when they hear the name Luther Burbank might associate the name with the town of Burbank, California. However, that city was named after David Burbank, a New Hampshire born dentist and entrepreneur who established a sheep ranch there in 1867.

Burbank became world famous in the early 1970s, by Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show daily monologue jokes poking fun of the town where the tonight show was filmed, “Beautiful Downtown Burbank.”

Every single day we encounter something that Luther Burbank created because he was truly the wizard of botany.

Shine On

Giving Thanks

“Relationships are based on four principles:
respect, understanding, acceptance and appreciation.”
Mahatma Gandhi

 

My Peonies

Pink Peony Bouquet From Me to You

Thank you for following my blog. I don’t take your support for granted. We know it must be earned. I am extremely humbled by the time, attention and comments made by my fellow Blogaholics.

With the quality and mega number of blogs out in the Universe, I’m always surprised when my simple weekly posts receive any attention.

We all are witnessing so much unrest, hate, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and lack of compassion. I feel extremely grateful for so many things in my life. One of which is reading and enjoying all your blog post’s and your support of mine.

This post was inspired by fellow blogger, Next Generation Farmgirl where she wrote in a her recent blog post, “One small phrase of gratitude is significantly uplifting to the spirit of the recipient.”

I couldn’t agree with Farmgirl more on the importance of giving thanks.

Shine On

Little Shop of Horrors

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”
Claude Monet

 

Spring Has Sprung
I love flowers. All kinds of flowers. My favorites are the daffodil, peony, tulip, carnation, daisy, and of course the rose.

Last year for Mother’s Day, my son gifted me an orchid plant.

Not having any knowledge of orchids, I did some research, so that this beautiful flower would keep its bloom as long as possible. On the web site “Caring for your orchid dot com”, they suggested not to over water the plant, and to find a perfect spot where the plant would thrive.

I must be doing something right, because to my surprise, the blooms on the orchid lasted for several months. After the pedals all fell off, it lay dormant for about seven months. I continued to keep it watered while new leaf growth appeared. Suddenly two weeks ago I noticed a new bud on the orchid. The other morning when I got up, I was excited to see that a beautiful flower had unfolded over night.

The detail on this flowering orchid was so unusual that I took some photos. There’s a feature on the flower I never noticed before. It looks as though it has two bottom teeth. I’m assuming this is a common feature. If not, I might have to name the plant, Audrey III, from Little Shop of Horrors.

Shine On