poetry and prose about place

herb growing in winter #4

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The identity of the odd plant in my AeroGarden is no longer a secret!


What is the plant on the right hand side of my garden?


The plant in question is the bushy ‘herb’ to the right. It has dark green leaves and a thick stem.


As you know, I am a botanist and if this plant was presented to me in any other way, I am sure I would have identified it immediately.

But the label said ‘mint’ and so I expected mint.

My first suggestion of mistaken identity came when I popped a few of the young leaves into my tea. The taste was terrible.


Then I took a closer look. The stem was not square – an immediate identifier of the whole mint family.

So I went back to the package material. Possibly I switched the labels. Perhaps it was curly parsley. Deep frown. Didn’t look like curly parsley.


All this time, I kept pruning and drying the leaves. My bottle of dried mystery leaves is quite full!


What is it?


Then I saw the flowers and took a step back. They were yellow and clustered. The leaves were compound, very hairy. The light came on! Tomato!

You will think I am a terrible botanist!


So now I am waiting for my first tomatoes. I have discarded the dried leaves (tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and the leaves contain a poisonous alkaloid).


the unopened ‘flowers’ of my tomato plant (the hairy green buds) … in a few days I will have baby tomatoes!


Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 23, 2018 at 9:40 am

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