Every Glass Flower in the Harvard Museum

A. Kendra Greene

Smashed, scaling, full of flaws:
much of the cotton of commerce is obtained
from two Mayan words meaning “bitter juice.”
The seeds yield a valuable oil,
the source of linen,
the leaves were used for tea during the American Revolution—
intensely bitter—
a remedy
against malignant fevers.

Anchovy Pear, Buena Mujer
Quebec to Minnesota

Cultivated as a shade tree in Cuba,
in waste places throughout,
in shady situations
in rich woods
in stagnant waters.
Native of Mexico;
Native of the Old World.
In ponds and streams
in bogs and on wet hillsides.

The juice is used to make animal flesh,
wood used for cigar boxes,
in cabinet work,
split leaves used for making hats.

Wild Succory, Common Chiccory
Blue Sailors, Bunk.

Collected in 1834 by Mr. Henchman
two empty glumes
and the perfect flower,
perfect floret.
Stamens showing coalescent filaments
sterile filament
fertile frond.

Fertile flower magnified 20x.
Sterile flower cut in halves.

Escaped northward
and northward.

Pickled and eaten by the Spaniards,
a fragrant odor
a typical form
a cosmopolitan plant.
Larva, enlarged
hairs, much magnified
gall seen from inside, natural size.

Pride of India, Enchanter’s Nightshade.
Wings. Spikelet. Keel.

Extensively cultivated.
Apparently abundant.
Origin obscure.

A. Kendra Greene is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow at the University of Iowa. She has vaccinated wild boars in Chile and modeled dresses twisted from balloons and is currently looking for reasons to love Dallas, Texas. Even as we speak, she is writing a memoir about museums. A writer and book artist, her work is published in Hand Papermaking and Field Working: Reading and Writing Research, and held in special collections including Yale University and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. More at http://greeneinkpress.com.