The Botany of Desire

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SUGAR CANE AND BEGONIAS The main sources for the references gathered in this paper are from the book The Botany of Desire by Michel Pollen. The book focuses on the interactions between people and plants. I will explain how the begonia and sugar cane have changed over the years. How our interactions with these plants have changed us and how we changed the plants. "A Brief History of Sugar." A Brief History. 11 Oct 2008 <http://www.irish- sugar.ie/noframes/nf-pages/nf-hist/nf-hist.htm#productn> Sugar cane is a member of the grass family. The sugar cane has hollow stalks filled with a sweet juice or sap from which sugar can be extracted and can grow to 15 feet tall. It grows best in very warm climates and is ready to harvest after 10 to 20 months. The medieval world was quick to recognize the difference sugar made to food and built a flourishing trade market. One of the major reasons for the slave trade was the demand for sugar. When the world population grew so did the demand for sugar. "Begonia." American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers. Ed. Christopher Brickell & Trevor Cole. New York: DK Pub, 2002. 104-107. The botanical name for the Begonias is Begonia. Begonias are found in tropical to warm temperate climates most frequent in South America, but not found in Australasia or the Pacific Islands. There are 900 mainly perennial species. From plants that are climbers, sub-shrubs, or plants that stems are like bamboo. Begonias vary in characteristics but most have lop- sides, ear- shaped leaves with beautiful markings. The plant flower in clusters with four to five petals. The Begonia was named after Michel Begon (1638-1710). Michel was a supporter of botany and at one time was the Governor of French Canada. Black, R. J.

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