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Plants

  • I found a strawberry blossom in a rock. The little slender flower had more courage than the green leaves, for they were but half expanded and half grown, but the blossom was spread full out. I uprooted it rashly, and I felt as if I had been committing an outrage, so I planted it again. It will have but a stormy life of it, but let it live if it can.

    • Dorothy Wordsworth,
    • 1802, in William Knight, ed., Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, vol. 1 ()
  • Flowers and plants are silence presences; they nourish every sense except the ear ...

  • ... even as human vitality is at its lowest ebb in the early morning, so it is with plant life in the early spring.

  • If plants could be credited with reasoning powers, we would marvel at the imaginative ways they bribe or ensnare other creatures to carry out their wishes.

    • Jane Goodall,
    • "The Roots of a Naturalist," in Smithsonian ()
  • ... isn't it wonderful that two of the most sacred and symbolic plants, the olive and the vine, live on almost nothing, a terrace of limestone, sun and rain ...

  • Plants live; how much they feel and enjoy, who shall say?

  • There is no question that plants have [all] kinds of sensitivities. They do a lot of responding to their environment. They can do almost anything you can think of. But just because they sit there, anybody walking down the road considers them just a plastic area to look at, [as if] they're not really alive.

  • Plants do everything animals do, but slowly. They migrate, communicate, deceive, stalk their food and, with an ostentation of styles and perfumes to put the animal kingdom to shame, they make love. It’s just that catching them in flagrante delicto might require time-lapse photography.

  • Moss grows where nothing else can grow. It grows on bricks. It grows on tree bark and roofing slate. It grows in the Arctic Circle and in the balmiest tropics; it also grows on the fur of sloths, on the backs of snails, on decaying human bones. ... It is a resurrection engine. A single clump of mosses can lie dormant and dry for forty years at a stretch, and then vault back again into life with a mere soaking of water.

  • Moss is inconceivably strong. Moss eats stone; scarcely anything, in return, eats moss. Moss dines upon boulders, slowly but devastatingly, in a meal that lasts for centuries. Given enough time, a colony of moss can turn a cliff into gravel, and turn that gravel into topsoil.