Plants mentioned in Bukowski’s work

Are there any plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, etc that anyone can point me to that are mentioned in Bukowski’s poetry specifically? My students are on a search. Thanks for any help!


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The Tragedy Of The Leaves
I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead,
the potted plants yellow as corn;

plants which easily winter kills
plants which easily winter kills
Campanula medium
Digitalis purpurea
Early-flowered Chrysanthemums
Salvia patens
Shasta Daisy.

all that
like that

and on many
of the window sills
sit pots of geraniums
or planters
of geraniums
and here are the
half-dressed people
on the fire escapes
and here is
the geranium red
almost everywhere.

Christ in his manger
the girl used a nozzle with a
thin hard stream and she liked to
hose down the large banana leaves.
the sound was unbearable. she
believed she was washing away the plant

I move to the city of San Pedro
I dug around in the garden,
planted some corn
and radishes.

Trollius and trellises
well, John, if it happens enjoy your
divertissement to
plant husbandry,
cultivate and aerate
bushes, water only in the
early morning, spread
shredding to discourage
weed growth
as I do in my writing:
use plenty of

(for A.M.)

and I sit looking at the plants
and I say to the plants, with my mind,
can't you love me?
can't something happen here?
must the sidewalks always be sidewalks, must the generals
continue to laugh in their dreams,
must it always continue to be
that nothing is true?


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And who could forget:

The Great Zen Wedding

Zen let out a short gasp, once again supplicated the sky, said something in the Oriental, gave me a short karate chop, kindly, and left me wrapped within a series of senseless Mexican cacti and what appeared to be, from my eye, man-eating plants from the inner Brazilian jungles. I relaxed in the moonlight until this purple flower seemed to gather toward my nose and began to delicately pinch out my breathing.

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
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he's mentioned a purple iris before as well...


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Over 1000 posts
He also had it in for the gladiola

it is only when
that life
becomes ours
we realize
that the suicides, the
drunkards, the mad, the
jailed, the dopers
and etc. etc.
are just as common
a part of existence
as the gladiola, the
and nothing
on the kitchen
From the poem "ruin"

some guy keeps coming over
telling me how good bondage is:
“you tie them into the leather,
they’re completely helpless
then you can piss on them.
you want it and they want
it. it’s great. the growing of
the gladiola.”

From "The Sun itself, I Guess, Is The Only Thing That Doesn't Need The Love Of Luck"

a horn blows a tired
summer like a gladiola given up and leaning against a
house and
the bottles we have emptied would strangle the
sensibilities ... of God


I do not know how much longer I can
but I keep thinking
ow! my god!
gladiola will straighten hard and
full of
color like an
arrow pointing at the
Christ will shudder like
From "the curtains are waving and people walk through the afternoon here and in Berlin and in New York City and in Mexico"

Also there was "The Flower Lover", "Lillies in my brain" ... etc. Coming to think of it he wrote about flowers quite frequently. Also painted or drew them a couple of times.
Just read one where he mentioned hydrangeas.

It's the way you play the game
In love is a dog from hell

"Vomiting as you go
Into the

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
There was another man-eating plant in the poem that begins "in the valkyrie mountains among the strutting peacocks..."