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<   No. 1440   2007-01-05   >

Comic #1440

1 {scene: Outside, on a street of the starport}
1 Quercus: Bune's major export is a spice extracted from the native giant water worms. I've secured a load, but we have two days until it's delivered.
2 Paris: Good work, Quercus. While we're waiting, we can enjoy the local attractions.
3 Quercus: {approaching a shop with displays of flowers in the window} Let's avoid this place though...
3 Serron: It's just a florist.
4 Quercus: How would you like it if someone cut off your reproductive organs and arranged them in a vase for people to admire and smell?
4 Serron: Oh...

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Flowers are, of course, the reproductive structures (or, as we like to say, the "naughty bits") of many plants. Not all plants produce flowers - conifers, ferns, mosses, and algae don't, for example - but in many places flowering plants are the most conspicuous.

Flowers are usualy seen as attractive, decorative, and symbolic of good things like love, happiness, sympathy, and celebration.

The plants might have a slightly different view of things.

2016-08-24 Rerun commentary: I mentioned algae in the above list of non-flowering plants. This is only somewhat true, as the group of organisms known as algae is actually paraphyletic (they do not share a common ancestry that excludes all other organisms), and includes examples of both plants and organisms that are not in fact plants.

Only the green algae are actually plants. All other algae groups, including the red algae, brown algae, golden algae, yellow-green algae, and cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae), are not plants.

It seems the one thing algae have in common is straightforward descriptive names.

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