Unusually Clever People

Pull Up Your Agapanthus, Your Aster is Showing

AgapanthusI’ve had this charming little book on my desk for way too long (apologies to author Elizabeth Creamer for taking so long to comment on it), but here it is, at last.

Pull Up Your Agapanthus, Your Aster is Showing is a botanical pronunciation guide illustrated with crazy Victorian engraving-style drawings and captions that make it esy to puzzle out Latin terms.  For instance:

Two guys sitting in easy chairs, smoking cigars.  One says, "I thought you were in lovage," and the other says, "I was, until she Tolmiea I looked like a Todaea."  The first guy says, "Perhaps it’s just Acacia mistaken identity."

Or this one, beneath an image of a crowd of people  fleeing a house:

"The children had the chicken Phlox and were looking rather Scabiosa.  There was no Vaccinium, so everyone left post Hastata."

You get the idea.  Just enough of a pun to make the right pronunciation obvious.  Worth it for the art alone, but also fun to contemplate walking about in a state of euphorbia, or being so embarrassed you just want to dianthus.   I think we’ve all been there.

Posted by on June 16, 2008 at 5:31 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.
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8 responses to “Pull Up Your Agapanthus, Your Aster is Showing”

  1. Kitt says:

    Cute! What do they have for “agastache”?

  2. Sandy says:

    Now that I know about it I would love to have a copy. Any idea how to do that? I followed the link but the book doesn’t seem to be available!

  3. suzq says:

    You say clay-MAT-us and I say “CLEM-a-tis”…

    My neighbor and I were having that very same discussion this weekend. I think we came up with about 15 ways to pronounce it.

  4. Pam J. says:

    Speaking of pronunciation tools, Maureen Dowd recently referred to the president of Iran as “I’m a dinner jacket.” I no longer have to struggle saying Ahmadinejad!

  5. I think Fine Gardening has a tool for proper pronunciations.

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pguide/pronunciation-guide-to-botanical-latin.aspx

  6. Stacy says:

    I’ve checked Amazon, Powell’s, Abe’s, Alibris…not one has any clue about this book. It actually got published, didn’t it?

  7. Sorry this book has been so hard to find! It is available through Powells Books for Home & Garden or can be ordered directly from the publisher. Please go to http://www.amblesidedesigns.com/aga for an order form!

  8. John Spritz says:

    I got my copy directly from the author, Elizabeth Creamer. Go to that web site, she takes care of everything. Great book for giving to your garden fanatic friends!

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