By now we hope you're enjoying all the myriad Halloween treats we made for you!
A lot of research and thought went into which species we featured in this box. What follows is some info that factored into our choices—the "behind the scenes", if you will—as well as some places to start, should you wish to learn further.
plant name: why we selected it for this box
- Datura wrightii (sacred datura): witchy, white night-blooms, toxic, hallucinogenic, pollinated by hawkmoths
- Ipomoea alba [was Calonyction aculeatum] (moonflower): white night-blooms
- Atropa belladonna (belladonna; deadly nightshade): witchy, toxic, as well as being a member of Solanaceae, a family often favored by hawkmoths
- Acontium (aconite; monkshood): witchy, toxic
- Nicotiana (tobacco): white night-blooms, Solanaceae, neurotoxin, pollinated by hawkmoths, feeds their caterpillers
- Cestrum nocturnum (night-blooming jasmine): witchy, white night-blooms, toxic, Solanaceae
- Cicuta spp. (water hemlock): witchy, umbels with tiny white flowers, toxic
- Helleborus hybrid "Onyx Odyssey' (hellebore): witchy, black, parts are toxic
- Alcea rosea "Nigra" (hollyhock): witchy, black
- Zantedeschia (calla lilly) "Black Star" and white calla lily: witchy, toxic
- Proboscidea parviflora (devil's claw) seedpods: witchy, black, creepy and claw-like, host plant for Tobacco Hornworm hawkmoth
- Dracula vampira (dracula orchid): witchy, black, seems self-explanatory
- Browneopsis disepala: white, night-blooms, pollinated by both bats and moths
- Sambucus nigra (black elderberry): black leaves, white flowers, purple berries, toxic if prepared incorrectly
- Strobilanthes dyeriana (Persian shield): witchy, striated purple leaves
cups: Calla Lily
swords: Persian shield
moth: Manduca sexta (Tobacco Hornworm)
Chosen because it's a hawkmoth, and a primary pollinator of Nicotiana and other white, night-blooming species. Moonflower is one of its food sources, as is Proboscidea parviflora
bat: Leptonycteris yerbabuenae (Lesser Long-Nosed Bat)
Particularly in favor of Southwestern and Mexican succulents; they pollinate flowers and eat the fruit. Chosen because it's endangered, and a species particularly in the focus of The Bat Conservation.
Moths and bats are nighttime pollinators par excellance. If you're interested in learning about why that's important, how we know, which flowers they prefer, and so on, there are any number of articles and blog posts around.
Here's a few places to start:
Thanks to you, we've raised $45 for Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation. This is particularly important right now, due to all the misconceptions being spread about bats and Covid-19. Your donation will help them educate and support.
If you're interested in learning more, please check out this page.
CARE AND FEEDING
The tarot cloth is 100% cotton and machine washable, so feel free to launder it and line dry. If necessary, iron it with low heat, no steam, protected by a press cloth or towel. Easy peasy.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
We look forward to greeting you with our next box, "Ice and Fire", coming in January!