Become Part of the Garden
1983 Today is the anniversary of the death of New Zealand botanist Eliza Amy Hodgson.
Hodgson specialized in liverworts. Liverworts are nonvascular plants like mosses. Without a vascular system, mosses and liverworts don’t get very big. These are tiny plants to be sure, and worts are considered one level simpler than mosses. They grow flat on the ground and have large leaf-like structures. Like mosses, worts thrive in moist areas.
The word "wort" means "little plant, herb or root" (St. John’s Wort, Pennywort, lungwort, and Bladderwort.)
Long ago, herbalists likely thought one of the liverworts resembled a liver - and so used it as a medicine for liver ailments. Thus, the word liverwort means a "liver-like small plant."
Now, the reason I chose Eliza Amy Hodgson to close the show today is that she is often shown in a photo, standing in front of a flower border with green foliage and white blossoms. The only problem with the photo is that Eliza is wearing a green hat along with a green dress that is covered in white leaves, which turns the photo into a bit of a Where’s Waldo - and it makes sweet Eliza look like her head is floating above the Landscape.
So, here’s a thank you to dear Eliza - who gives us the good reminder never to have your clothes blend in too much with the garden - lest you, in an odd way, become part of the garden itself.