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This past Sunday, in the company of several illustrious out-of-town friends, I paid visit to the orchids at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Truth be told, I’d never spent much time with these precious blossoms before, and on this day—like a lizard on a windowpane?—I was popeyed at their more than platitudinous beauty. “Oh, to be a bee,” I murmured as I communed with Their Delicacies and sought to avoid unseemly collisions with fellow voyeurs.

In fact, the U.S.B.G. plays host to so much more than orchids. On a lazy Sunday, the discerning gardengoer will find a mind-bending array of creatively christened and fussily labeled flora and fauna, including the Persian Shield, the Drunkard’s Dream, the Bat-Leaf Passionflower, the Never Never Plant, the Catnip-Leaved Lion’s Ear, the Poet’s Jasmine, the Fosperior Perfection, and—let us not forgetGiraffe’s Knees.

Stirring from my verdant reverie, I found one of my compatriots—a budding sketch artist, if you’ll indulge the pun—embroiled in an ambitious taxonomical endeavor. You will find the fruits of his efforts below the jump.

A Non-Linnaean Taxonomy of Gardengoers

by Aaron Wiener

Kindly address all questions, compliments, and scholarly addenda to Herr Wiener.

Lead photo courtesy of kevindooley