Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An R-Rated Botanical Limerick


Once upon a time in the month of May, I gave myself a birthday garden party. I told my friends that I didn't want any gifts. Instead, I encouraged them to write limericks. To make the activity more enticing, I offered prizes for the best entries in various categories.

Even though several people grumbled about this project, complaining that it was more like "doing homework" than having fun, most really got into it. Several dozen entries arrived before the judging deadline.

My only concern with this project was that I might get lots of off-color, girl-from-Nantucket style poetry. I planned to post all of the limericks on foam-core boards for people to read at the party so they could vote for a "people's choice" award. Some of my friends were bringing their children to the party and I didn't want to offend anybody.

As it happened, though, only one dirty limerick was submitted. But it was so cleverly written that only people with some knowledge of botanical Latin names could figure it out. Here it is, written by my brilliant friend, Steve:
A young botanist who hailed from Formosa
Adored his Rudbeckia hirta 'Glorioisa'
But on an extended trip to Madrid
With his blooming Kniphofia hybrid
He went in search of a Brassavola nodosa
Can you guess what he was writing about?