Dear Sir/Madam

I am, I believe, a tolerant man and as a man of the cloth, it is well that I should be. However I saw something last week in your Benthic Times which created a profound sense of unease within my breast and which forced me to write to you.

My young nephew Silas has of late been staying at the vicarage whilst his mother recovers from a bout of bilious ague. He is, like many young men, impressionable and given to romantic notion, although he is a good sort, dedicating a part of each day helping out at Mrs Ginnidraws School for Fallen Ladies. Of an evening he will often be seen, though, reading the sort of sensational literature that your magazine also contains. I happened to glance last week and saw something so mortifying that I was forced to extract the magazine from his hand. For there, in plain view, was a plant being presented as Aconite which was clearly another species. I could not allow him to be exposed to such shoddy botany. It seemed as if the creator of the image had looked in their locale for a plant that was similar and attempted to pass off a clear example of Gluteus Maximus – or Ruddy Whackweed – as Aconite.

As a keen yet amateur botanist I recognised not only the plant, but also the locale it must have come from. You see, Ruddy Whackweed is not to be found in Cornwall or even the British Isles, but is a native of Greece. I recognised it from my walking tour of the Dodecanese last spring. Well sir, madam, I present below some of my botanical notes to educate you in the hope that you don’t find yourself using the wrong species again.

4This species is Flora Extraterrestralis or Mouldy Goat Hair. It can be used to prepare a poultice for foxy.

1This is Stella Inconsequentia known as Sticky Chive or Stinky Chive. It is used primarily in salads and is believed by primitive peoples to ward off people with a squint.

7This is known as Stultus Flos or Exploding Jenny. It is poisonous to rodents between 1 and 1 half and 2 inches long.

8This plant is Pigor Scriptor or Incompetent Orchid. It has no known use.

10This is Disculpi Tardi or  Scrote Violet. It is a powerful sedative or stimulant depending on wind direction.

I trust this little guide to the fauna of the Greek Isles will prevent a similar instance of botanic mislabelling.


Rev Johan Stiltburger



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