"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Colocynths and coelacanths


The colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis), also known as bitter apple, bitter cucumber, egusi, or vine of Sodom, is a viny plant native to the Mediterranean Basin, North Africa, and Asia, especially Turkey. Its pulp is used to make a purgative. I love the idea of something being called the Vine of Sodom!

Not to be confused with the coelacanth - A large, bony marine fish (Latimeria chalumnae, family Latimeriidae) with a three-lobed tail fin and fleshy pectoral fins, found chiefly around the Comoro Islands. It was known only from fossils until one was found alive in 1938.

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