Geranium or Pelargonium?

Crane, Heron, and Stork. Three large aquatic birds with long legs, a feathery crest, and an impressive beak. The resemblance of the seed pods to the bird is what made the naturalists and biologists name the family Geraniaceae and divide them into three genera: Geraniums (geranós:  crane in Greek), Erodiums (erodiós:  heron in Greek) and Pelargoniums (pelargós: stork in Greek). These…

Guaiac Wood

Guaiac Wood. Tree of life, “Palo Santo” or Lignum Vitae, you are known under many pseudonyms. You are a sacred tree of the Americas, your distant and illustrious cousins are myrrh and frankincense. Since ancient times, shamans and other priests have burnt your hard flesh to purify the sacrificial ground and the house of the…

Irresistible Little Pod

 Irresistible Little Pod. Your sweet smell and delicious taste were unknown until the discovery of the Americas. The Aztecs had already cultivated the vine and the flower for years before the Conquistadors named you first vaina and then vainilla (small pod in Spanish) because of the shape of your fruits. They brought you back to Europe, along with…