The Reason for Flowers by Stephen Buchmann July book


Scribes notes:
the reason for flowers

going to attempt reading/listening/taking nots for 30 min per day

(6/18) Praise notification. For the science, history, and culture
it was well researched.
It’s more than beauty and fragrance. Flowers rule the world.
Flower enrich our lives, interplay with insects.
looking forward to read appendix 1: flower stats


beauty of their shapes. Flowers feed and clothe us. OIts fruit and sees keep the worlds 7.2 billion people from starvation. We give flowers as tributes. It goes with us our whole life (cradle to grave). Hope for bright future.. Used for flavors. We might not be here without flowers. Flowers make us happy and lift our spirits. It also helps heal our bodies and mind

Part 1

Flowers like to attract attention. It’s a living organism. Free to live outdoors. Bees help flowers reproduce. Flowers need sexual favors to spread their sperm to have their egg fertilized. They use their petals for attraction along with texture

(6/19) Flower show sexual organs of the plant….attack tiny insects. Flower go back about 400 million years. Flowers look out for themselves. Flower pollination started over 100 million years ago.


Lilly Flower: starting from the top of the flower, you will see the tumescent rod, or the female sex organ (of the pistil)

the stigma at the tip is moist and gooey to catch and hold the pollen that comes its way.

Pistil: Stigma, style, & Ovary

ovary at the bottom of the pistil

there is double fertilization (2 sperm cell) 2% complete 2 sperm cells


What’s in it for the birds and bees

rest stops
hunt pray
could be for warmth
next building stuff
most important is to feed (nectar, pollen) high energy 3 types of sugar in the nectar
it has 5 to 60 % protein

also floral oil in tropical families

nest building could be from flowers

fragrance: Perfuming the out of door
flowers are chemists
as the flower ages, the perfume loses its power

flower can come up with the sense of death

Are flowers losing their fragrance from global warming?

Bees can discriminate on the basis of touch (texture)

Plants send electrical charges (friction for air)

A bee land on a negative part of the flower, this will lead them to pollination, so this is to label this plant (signal left by bees themselves

Flower change color after pollination, or changes with age

could be to register if it has nectar or pollen

the red has the longer-wavelength side of the color spectrum

Bees don’t see UV colors (infrared)

Bumble-bees can easily see 5 times faster as ourselves

talk about seeing “flicker fusion while a bee is watching a movie

with bee site, this is why flowers look like they do

Chapter 2

fossilized flowers are not on display…they don’t rate
they are locked up and stored away

The first flower appeared perhaps between 130-160 million years ago

alge started growing

6 % complete

earlier years a lot of pollen eating insects

“naked seeds” they are not embedded in fruits

conifer sex could take years to occur
ginkgoes go back millions of years
the females produce “stinky nuts”


could be from the ginkgo plant (study 2012)
butterfly’s are preserved in 165-million-year-old fossils

Darwin’s Abominable Mystery
wrote letter in 1879 highly acceleration the evolution of first flowering plants. It was a rapid change.

Fossil flowers are wrapped/trapped in clay, but they are jmade up of all carbon, and preservation is astonishingly good

The flowers might have fallen and preserved by a fire (history)
There is many amber (good for fossils)

amber mine founded in 2007 (orchid and a bee in amber)


fossil evidence shows the flowers were “tiny”

over time the flowers got bigger to attract insects

fly’s and small beetles were the pollinators

Does the creator like fly’ and small beetles

bees have been on planet for a long time 100mya. Pollen is food for the bees.

stingless bees arrived adapting chemical warefare

bats have huge about of pollen in their guts

flowers evolutionary strategies were highly adaptive.

go from flowers will block other plants

some plant also use wind or water

Chapter 3: The Pollinators
10% complete

Orchid flowers come in a wide arrange of shape, would the bees follow them
bees followed the bucket orchids from Panama, the bee=s ended up following.

Orchids and their bees

don’t waste pollen on a unwanted oeichads

male bees ha have no stings

the bees spread fragrance LIKE the orchid-perfumed BRR KNIGHT.

female bees look for nesting material

Beetles as Pollinators

for beetles, they are redundant

Most poppies are beetle-pollinated
beetles like orange-crimson petals with black centers
beetles don’t seem to be pollinators, all beetles are not scandal’s


flies get bad press (far worse than beetles)
most flies are benign, even helpful.

estimated 160000 species

many flies visit flowers

fly’s are after bees for pollination

drone flies search for nectar, or yellow color

The worlds largest flower Rafflesia arnoldil is a stupendous flower. The main body of the plant is hidden, its a parasitic plant and grows internally. It grows three feet in diameter and weigh a hefty 24 ponds each.

Each flower had five broad, flattened arms like a fat starfish,stench was like road kill.


wasps/flower have a a comparison due to the color and odors that appeal to them

wasps like brown or green flowers.

Australia orchids depend on wasps for pollination

#1024 or 13%

Beautiful Klutzes

speaking about butterflies. Show inspiration from caterpillar to butterfly
large butterflies are not good pollinators
butterflies live for 2 weeks??
In the U.S. there is about 700 kinds of butterflies compared to ten thousand moths

moths are very interesting:

In 1862 Darwin predicted (on orchards) he thought that there is long tongue insect in Madagascar to feeds of this orchard. A large hawk moth was discovered 20 years later.

Moths with Tentacles?
A yucca moth (trading sex for food)

It still is a bee pollinated planet
bees have been doing this for 60-100 prior years

there is only 11 species of Winnie to poo honey bees
the tropics have over five hundred stingless bees

about 47 species of bumble bees live in the U.S.

there re more than 350000 flowering plants
bees buzz to extract the pollen (sonic buzzes)

Every third mouthful is do to wild pollinators
#1190 or 15%

about $billion agriculture is brought up by wild bees

bees produce fruits and seeds for our diet

bees are added to tomatoed gardens, they are exchange after months

***pollination are signed a year early

honey bees don’t buzz pollinate

honeybees need to drink constantly

long becks also pollinate (like hummingbirds)

Have nectar bats (have long tongues)

Reptiles (lizards) also pollinate

the gecko is also listed they are great climbers for nectar)

Us people like to collect, multiply and hoard these flowers.

Part II Chapter 4
#1400 or 18%

(6/26) Pleasure Gardening:

when daytime is at 60 degrees, it time to plant bulbs

do soil need to be able to grow something to eat
Digging sticks were talked about

women were the “gatherers”

soil is a precious resource not the be wasted

scent and flavor chemistry links flowers to fruits
Are plants seducing us to do their bidding?

The World Oldest Gardens

Like in Babylon or Samaria along fertile presence
Shaduf: used for watering for the Egyptian people a ceramic pot

The ancient Egyptians were Master Gardeners

#1541 or 20%

in china flowers are for pleasure, happiness, and friendship plus symbolic meaning

God and Goddesses in Garden

deep purple flowers

Hades; s tried to make a garden in the underworld

The Roman elite imported many types of plants

Were flower just for church alters, banquets, or weddings.
Could also be used as medicine.

Aztec Marigolds in Mexico in Mexico city. The Aztecs were gardeners

Aztec garden was like a paradise. (lots a water)

Aztecs had a floating garden in Mexico City
the most important flower in the Persian garden is the rose (or gul)
it has a party atmosphere
romantic spot
the garden of Paradise

#1684 or 22%

Persian people thrived on tulips
Islamic gardening

Pleasure gardens started about the 6th centaury

water items, stepping stones were added to these gardens

some gardens showed of no flower, plants were well “clipped”

John the elder of London (1570-1638) started moving plants around the globe

Patriotic Gardens of America

all founders were gardeners, and amateur botanists

start of the liberty tree

Washington had 500 acre garden and it was a model for others to follow

Plants came from US to London, and the Atlantic exchange developed with plants from Africa (William Bartram) and Australia.

Mowed yards came from Italy.

Fickle Gardening

thousands for plants are now in gardening books

18-19 century gardeners were more robust in what to grow

Americans have innovated gardens all types of different gardens

some people are tearing up lawn for a “meadow” look

Flower for Eternity (Chapter 5)

“Loves last gift”
1824 23% done#

Rose Hill Memorial Park in Whittier California is the largest cemetary in the U.S. (Orange County)

bouquets of flowers were at grave site.
ephedra is a stem that makes to flowers
eases our grief
flowers comfort us
goes back to in King Tut.

for graves it could have been used to hide the odor

flowers are both in rainy and dry cycles

natural renewal

King tut was buried in 1323 BC (19 year old)

Virgins wore white for her wedding. It also steers away evil spirits

The soul leaves the body as a butterfly
planted also cleans the earth

The Lotus was discussed (several Hindu deities)
represent beauty, without attachment

Flowers are on display for many festivals

Lotus symbolizes softness and beauty (Buddha)

flowers of Bali (floral offering (acts of faith

#1976 25% complete.

(7/1) It’s a spiritual actions or way of life. the lotus plant

flowers are hanging around temples as a matter of faith

favorite flower finds new religions

Roses red were linked to Jesuses blood and virgin mary

all took place because of trade

Mary had her Madonna Lilly

Violets given on Valentines day
Mexico thinks of a spirit filled flower, paradise flowers

sometimes it’s paper (flowers)

butterflies are like flying flowers

November 1 and 2 is the day of the dead living and paper flowers

mixing of color of flower mixing.

flowers and dying

floral have better dying through the chemistry of fragrances

flowers used at funeral have less fragrance now

Average funeral is about $8,0000

Now there is a move to colors, surprise bloom. Flower breeding, may reduce pollen attacking sense. These could make an unrewarding nutritional desert

chapter 6

#2140 or 28% complete

(7/1) Best of Show

all orchids in many types of color/visits to green houses
talk about plant breeders

these flowers are bi-sexual (shuffle genes)
plants are sexual organism

hybrid plants were not as fertile as their parents
hybrid plants were ungodly (natures bastards)

rose bushes are the most popular
Flowers are great gifts

talk about flowers coming from bulbs
orchid are the most expensive flower

can get an award of merit (increases the value)

#2338 or 30% complete

(7/2) Live long and prosper

vase life is for selling cut flowers

commercial cut flower must be prime before shipment. It’s possible that cut flower could be 2-3 months old.

ethylene is used to change its color
use ethylene resistant spray

Look at appendix 3 for cut flowers

Long roses come from Ecuador

for trailing a plant it takes about 3 year to collect the seeds.

“trialing” for a new plant could cost up to $100,000
Takes 10 years for a shrub to enter the market

For new plants – gene blasting is used

The little black flower
it’s a romantic question

comes from hybrid flowers, black velvet petunia

all flowers are not black it has a double layer of purple pigments

The true blue rose (of love)
its not a wildrose…no blue pigmomnt
a blue die was used
blue rose of love

#2511 or 32% complete

genetically handy capped

easy to dye (with food coloring)

some florist spray paint flowers

They used a RNA process to get blue rose
Florists have been m changing the appearance of flowers for years

bees stay away from flower that make no nectar

Pollination is rewarding!!

chapter 7

flowers you can get next ay
from country to country
local florist is questionable

Flowers are growing towards the Equator – green house production.

Today you can get cut flowers in California
now it’s flowers from Columbia over $1 billion markets,

issue with cut flowers vs. cocaine

talked about packing flowers to ship
dunking in chemicals

wages are vey low 😦

the port of call from Ecuador is Miami

sometimes it’s 50 planes per day

Rose stems were used to smuggled cocaine
about 4 billion cut stems per year.
that’s about 10 million flowers every day

#2691 or 35% complete
(7/3) difference in cut-bloom industry (largely roses)

we need to wait for mother nature [we buy what is blooming

Dutch action only allows 200 million
can be in transit over a week from when it was cut
flower get re-routed by air frequently

5 billion fresh-cut flower from Dutch action in Amsterdam. 200 million red roses

224 million roses were grown for valentines day.
most roses come from central and south America

Organic gown flowers is very important

does it have mixed blooms
was it chemically sprayed

Certification (SCS scientific certification system) was introduced in 2001 Friendly flower “Veriflora”

organic is now an option

was a little off about Amazon prime (2018)

Dubai is now a hub for the flower market

hubs are Dubai, Holland, Miami, or other destination

Part III
eating flowers; eating from petals are garnishes
what is edible and what isn’t

don’t eat out of a vase at a resterant

most flower you can eat raw, it’s for appearance factor

Edible blooms have sugars, proteins, amino acids, lipids, antioxidents, and various pigments

Most is for visual delight
can eat flower buds and their budding stems.

#2854 or 37% complete

text on edible flowers (need)

also flower pats like a artichoke

flavored water and deserts

like having rose water
talk abbot cooks in Vietnamese and Mexican cooks use only the male flower when cooking. Females are left to fruit

flower find their way into drinks.

lidt of best
1. Marigolds
2. Chives
2. Daylily
4. Mint
5. Nasturtium
6. Pansy
7. Rose
8. Sage
9. Signet marigold
10. squash blossoms

flower to avoid
if you can’t ID it, don’t eat it!

preparing flowers

soak flower for 5 to 10 min.

for eating flowers

2. not from florist
3. nothing along road sides
4. Ask waitress about flowers on your plate

#3039 or 39% complete

(7/5) saffron flower is the most expensive flower (in history)

Mid-east produces most saffron

flowerily nectar attacks bees to the flower

nectar translates to honey 80% sugar and 20% water

nectar is also flight food
bumble bees also store honey in nests buried in ground

honey heated to 161 degrees F.

flower pollen is perfect for bees
from protein, amino acids, lipids, vitamins, and sugars

energy rich flowers (pollen)

eating pollen can be rough

35 % of our global agricultural diet comes from animal-pollinated fruits ans veggies

Chapter 9 A little Dab behind the Ear

almost everything has a scent
private communication to attack for pollination

perfume in 10th century came from rose flowers
was in incense?

use floral sense to hide body order

most flower send out scent molecules
Biochemists have cataloged more than 1,700 volatile compounds in common plants

#3170 or 41%

(7/6) few flowers are scentless

flower has fragrance molecules that are released
bees use this smell to attack them to the flower

emits no less than 52 different molecules

by crushing a leaf you might get the “smell” of these flowers

some of the flowers odor JUST STINKS!

flower pollinated by bats also stink

Scented World

nature is a copy cat on scenes (fragrant molecules)

try only 3 or for fragrant on a perfume visits

Egypt was the perfumer, with make up, scented perfumer was stored in designed boxes/jars

Egyptian people could trap scents

Cleopatra seduced Julius Caesar and Marc Antony with her scented urgents each day.

flowers in different countries smell different
this is because of cheap labor.

#3321 or 43% complete

some roses are grown for their fragrant petals

solvent distraction to make steam/water

some perfume contains between 60 to 80 chemical ingredients (molecules). Bring in other molecules!

about100 new perfumes sell on the marked annually

90% synthetic material is what’s in perfumes

Chapter 19 The Secret Language of Flowers

what is the meaning of a bouquet?

addresses a beauty to our lives

#3488 or 45% complete

(7/8) earlier painting flower scenes

flowers were used for woman to communicate

roses with no thorns signified love at first sight

orange is virginity

different cultures have different meanings

aster-daintiness and love

Red for passion
white for purity
pink for happiness
yellow for infidelity and unconscious beauty

thought of absent friends
long lasting affection

Flower of living tributes
wreaths given to champion athletes including gladiators

champions in Olympic gets roses or olive branches
given as tributes

Wearing your flowers

corsage is a group of flower worn on a breast (left style of dress)

speaker are set aside for wearing a flower

it’s the safelist gift to give

given odd number of flower is a niche, but not 13.

Flowers as National or State Emblems
German speaking people adapted the bachelor’s button
in 1986 the Rose was the emblem of the US. It was the Peace Rose by President Reagan

#3651 or 47% complete

(7/8) conservation flower to prevent erosion

Ladybird promoted bluebonnet flowers in the 60’s

Chapter 11 Flowers on the page
used as a metaphor in writing’s

lilies in the bible
biblical verses of the bible is rare

-Song of Solomon 2:1-2
-psalms 103:15
-Isaiah 35:1
-Job 14:2
-Song of Solomon 6:2-3

Note: the genus Rosa is not native to the part of the world as listed in Bible
in Luke 12:27-28 it wasn’t really a Lillie.

Flowers of Purgatory
Dante call for a terrestrial paradise leading to purgatory

Rose is in almost all types of writings

Hamlet had violets growing on a grave (Shakespeare)

Gardens were also discussed in Poems
33828 or 49%

Poems with Alfred Tennyson
poem for Abe Lincoln and even China with political interests
flower pedals (symbol)
poetry for special occasions

talk of “my wild Irish rose”

many musicians talk about flowers from Beetles, Mick Jagger, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sting to name a few.

Plus the Grateful Dead

chapter 12 Flowers in Art
flowers are also used in medicine (known as herbals).

Christ wounds on the cross were symbolized by five petals of a wild rose, and passion flowers.
#4005 or 52%

da Vinci painted many wild flowers (1452-1519)
some pictures are drawn with flower that bloom in spring wuth blossoms that bloom in summer.

Pre-Raphaelite pictures (paintings) of young woman

The rise of Modernism, using simple pastel flowers

using color with short brush strokes

Monet had cataracts

“If you don’t understand it…TO BAD”

make love, not war, the hippie thing

lots of information about photos of flowers (techniques used) flat bed scanners

flower on paper currency and coins and postal stamps

Art of arranging flowers
flowers scenes cleanses the air

black spots in pansies

flower were also elements of tapestries and rugs (carpet weavers)
also with ceramics and porcelain (like bowls – 14 century)

Now…scanned and printed in 3-D

Art in glass of artificial flowers from Harvard

Chapter 13 Flowers and science

how many organs are in the plant for ID purposes

#4406 or 57% complete

do plants have inheritance (physical trends) in next generation

Notes from Darwin:
seven of Darwin’s books were from plants ONLY (Walk in the Woods)

evolution in orchid plants
also self and cross pollination

Flower in a wind tunnel – pollination by flowers
pollen grains with the leaves as a variable

(7/11) moths are checking out the nectar of the cactus plant

How do bees see flowers:
have special “secret” communication communications. Hyman eyes are much better than bees.

floral manipulation tricks bees:
could we trick the bees by messing up the little yellow flowers (like paper yellow)

For about $80 you can get a kit of a small starter colony of bumble bees

pollen and crime-scene forensics

good because it remains unnoticed

pollen from worm wood was evidence of rape. He was convicted!
These chemicals (like 30 send scent to the brain

talk about vibration techniques of the scent fragrance

Chapter 14: Good for what Ails Us: Healing our bodies and minds

we enjoy (US) open spaces

book titled Biophilia – universe desire to be in a natural area

Flower improve a smile
improves are mood
raises our spirits

saffron was used to reduce fever and love

china tea- type 2 diacetates

Some flowers have changed their properties, so watch out

flowers have healing properties
#4786 or 62% complete

honey is nectar and it will heal wounds
like burns & circumcise.
for cataracts
80% sugar 20% water
2nd and 3rd degree burns

sterol bandages with honey additives

anti bacterial factor is high
healing power of flowers and pure sugar

Have cut flowers in room brings good feelings to people who are in the hospital

with flowers it easy to find comfort and will decrease blood pressure

human apparently secrete chemicals in the air when they are happy, anger, anxiety (just like seeing a dog)

flower oil used in massage

flowers to cure cancer….NO!

flowers make us smile.

Who is in control?

Flowering plants have more control than we think

Thought we all need each other (animals and plants)

talk about bat sex

have flowers changed the way of human life?

The sick Rose:

425,000 species have been Id’d

have lost about 500000 plants per year
some are now extinct

what will plant species extinction will take place in the next 50 years

little plug for the Monarch butterfly

no flowers can be made without seeds (so which came first – chicken or egg?

flowering plants need to be protected for their own sake!
so, buy organic soil
gives environmental and social justice

flowers and humans need each other for survival.

(7/12) Great appendix for statistics

Do’s and don’ts for fresh flower was good
it was a well documented book

3 thoughts on “The Reason for Flowers by Stephen Buchmann July book

  1. From another /bud;
    When I started this book, I thought I would give it a 4 or 5 smiles because of the learning a fair amount about both flowers and pollinators. However, by the time I arrived at the end of the book, the best I could give it was 1 smile, and to do that, I had to. recall the beginning.

    It would have been a good book if about 5/6s of it had been omitted. It began to ramble and be repetitive, and much of the information he was sharing was too common for a book. He needed a good editor.


  2. At our monthly discussion, some Buds really liked to book, while a couple others thought the book needed “an editor”. Taken the Average: the book gets a 3.5 smiley face review.


  3. After completing reading/listening to this book. I give it a 4 rating out of 5. First off, I took over 20 pages of bullet note, I’ve broken it down to a few (many) that interest me. Here is the few:
    • Its fruit and sees keep the worlds 7.2 billion people from starvation. We give flowers as tributes. It goes with us our whole life (cradle to grave).
    • Flowers rule the world
    • Flowers like to attract attention
    • The amount of protein in nectar
    • The first flower appeared perhaps between 130-160 million years ago
    • Bats are pollinators
    • Buzz pollination
    • Flower improve a smile, improves are mood, raises our spirits
    • Flowers used in medicine and massage
    • Big question: Who is in control?
    • have lost about 500000 plants per year
    some are now extinct
    • what will plant species extinction will take place in the next 50 years
    • flowers and humans need each other for survival.
    • (7/12) Great appendix for statistics
    • Do’s and don’ts for fresh flower was good
    it was a well-documented book
    Wishes: I was hoping for some neuro/medical information explaining why we are so attracted to the smell of the flower fragrance! (maybe I missed it?)


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