Boophone disticha: En Garde!

    Boophone disticha: En Garde!
    Author: Ivan Latti
    Photographer: Thabo Maphisa

    This Boophone disticha is losing the fencing contest against its Pelargonium crithmifolium neighbour. The Don Quixote Boophone has met its Pelargonium windmill.

    Nature doesn’t pitch opponents evenly matched according to Queensberry Rules of fairness, decorum and safety, as human culture does or attempts in organised sport. War among people is fewer holds barred, a closer to nature affair than culture. But that stirs debate, which is another war transposed into words.

    Prospective parent plants produce seeds in maximum numbers given their capacity, the numbers sometimes vast. This is the way to go, hopefully sufficient for overcoming the unlikely odds of germination in a bad spot or not germinating at all, the common fate of the majority of seeds.

    Some of the successful seeds don’t have it their way either, stuck among neighbours that fight other battles in the naturally competitive world where resilience and toughness are inculcated by endless contests.

    Swords or no swords, the fight for survival never stops, even among leaves (Duncan, et al, 2016; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Pooley, 1998).

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