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Columbia Plants Guide

Senior Staff Writer Henry Golub ’84 names the plants.

Part 1: New Roots and Old Sprouts:

Columbia University should be called Columbia Ecosystem. Parsley, radishes, and bushes line our walkways; lettuce, broccoli, and baby corn fill our salad bars; trees stand near our buildings. Whenever it rains here, this place feels like a #green #house.

Even if, like me, you’ve studied taxonomy since the war, the number of plants here occasionally feels overwhelming. That’s why I’ve compiled a guide to the flora of Morningside Heights. No more will you walk past watercress and say, “Gee, I wish I knew what that was.” From here on out, it’s all, “Wow, Cephalostachyum is my favorite!”

Now, I warn you that this list may make you feel hungry, sluggard, or even profoundly headstrong. I promise, however, that by the time you’re finished reading it, you’ll feel a renewed appreciation for Beyond Burgers and kale.

Without further ado: let’s let the plants do the talking.

Part 2: 2 Fast 5 Furious

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the last brussel sprout he’ll eat will be the first you give him.”

-Belgian Proverb

“Don’t cook the brussel sprouts for too long, or else they’ll burn.”

-Belgian Cookbook

“How are there 280 words in this article if there are only 250 numbers in the universe?”

-Belgian Sage

The Plants:

1. Potato


2. Tea, Sugar, and Spices


3. A flower


4. The Ivy League


5. Violet


6. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave


7. Jack-O’-Lantern


8. Zucchini Linguine


9. Benches


10. The Ming Dynasty


Global warming poses a dire threat to Columbia’s plant life.


First Five Plants via Henry Golub

Shiny Plants via Caroline Mullooly

Lamp Plant Uno via Victoria Borlando

Lamp Plant Ghost via Jordan Merrill

Green Chair Plant via Caroline Mullooly

Last Two Pictures via Bwog Archive

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