Donate online to help support Botany Photo of the Day

Subscribe to BPotD

Type your email address below!

BPotD Around the World!

Locations of visitors to this page

Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

Lobelia tupa

Lobelia tupa

I did mention in the previous entry on Lobelia tupa (or devil's tobacco) about my desire to take a different photograph of this species. Here it is!

6 Comments

Lobelia tupa - Z8 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Lobelia tupa - Z8-10 - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

Also called 'Indian Tobacco' it is, ironically, a counter-effect herb for nicotine addiction. Examing any of the several varieties of anti-smoking herbal concoctions in a health food store will show that lobelia is always the first or second ingredient.
I smoked cigarettes for 18 years and used lobelia to help me quit. There was minimal withdrawal and I lost 35 pounds in the process. It was so effective that I was able to go into a bar within two weeks of quitting, drink 6 or 7 beers (enough that I don't remember the number exactly) and not smoke. And that was when smoking was allowed in bars!

The exquisite creativity, textural novelty and colouristic subtlety of these flower photos demonstrates the utter nonsense of the claims of abstrationists and gestural expressionists. The best Jackson Pollock is amateurish doodling compared to the riches of natural forms, forms which nature has produced in her bounty and largesse. Whether it's the form of a petal stamen pistil or sweep of a tendril or branchlet
the infinite variety and structure and self reference ie fractal if you will of vegetable forms or the fifty shade tone and colour of a sunset or a rock or a cliff face nature is inimitable and unsurpassable which we could simply admire copy learn from or use as inspiration with humility and gratitude. No need to invent silly ugly shapes colours lines contours of simpletons and barbarians when nature has provided us with all possible visual delectation and instruction already.

I bet you didnt know when you started this botanical series that you are not only using and instructing photo apertures and timing etc and illuminating taxonomical conundrums but also providing a course in aesthetics and philosophy of art.

I am getting addicted to these toxic flowers. Lobeline is right next to nicotine in alkaloidal activity and structure of course. Lobeline is a beautiful symmetrical molecule of hanging benzene rings from a side branch of N centred hexane with loose =O and -OH terminals where the activity comes from I suppose.
Nicotine is a much simpler molecule of a mere hexane with an N substitution which organic chemists call pyridine joined to a pentagon with also an N substitution being a pyrrolidine and found not only in tobacco but carrot leaves which I also advise you not to smoke.
So these basic alkaloids being made of CHON are very powerful and toxic alkaloids made by plants as a defensive measure eat them you get sick or die. Smoke them you get addicted.
Enough intoxication I get from admiring their beauty.

I'm sorry, but I can't let A Jablanczy's comment stand unchallenged.

While I agree with your assessment that the beauty of nature is unsurpassed, your use, and characterization, of abstract and expressionist art as juxtaposition is an insult to the millions of people who find this art beautiful in it's own right. And neither we, nor the artists, are simpletons nor barbarians. As one educated in both the natural sciences and art, I've found that the more I learn about either, the more I appreciate ALL aspects of both. And, yes, I particularly like Pollack. If you don't like his work, that's fine, but save your insults for another forum... or better yet, keep them to yourself. Even better, take an art history course that includes the 20th Century.

Would the person responsible for this site please edit out this sort of rant. This is where I come each day for a bit of botany and peace.This "course in aesthetics and philosophy" is coarse and annoying as the author understands neither. Thank you

Everyone has an opinion, let them stand uncensored. Mine is with A. Jablanczy.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

 
UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email: garden.info@ubc.ca

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia