The range of uses we make of plants is as broad as our ingenuity permits.
We have exploited them for fibers to make cloth, drugs to cure a multitude of ailments, and wood to construct houses, furniture, and ships.
From them we have extracted raw materials to manufacture innumerable goods, including paper.
Without that latter commodity, our detailed history would not have been recorded and so remembered, nor could knowledge have been so easily disseminated.
And culture, the possession of which makes humans out of animals, would never have developed beyond the basic skills and habits of primitive peoples had we not had paper on which to write music, poetry, and prose.
Some of us look at plants as a source of livelihood, while others find them intriguing subjects for scientific study.
But most enjoy plants for the sheer delight of having them in their everyday surroundings, to savor the varied colors, textures, tastes, and aromas that they alone can offer.
Few gardeners share the botanist’s knowledge of plant biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, and intricate reproductive systems, yet all have experienced the extraordinary satisfaction derived from growing flowers, fruits, vegetables, and trees.