Anti-dam activist Mariana Mesa was amazed to find real flower buds, with holes in them, in Rio de Janeiro The ancient Brazilian catafalque civilisation – a sprawling city of burial mounds and ritual feasts – is famed for its colourful sculptures made of stone, and its remarkable collection of cemeteries. But earlier this week we learned that the farmers who cultivate the crop have discovered something unexpected, a once-hidden talent: edible flowers. Something I wouldn’t normally focus on is the role of plant life in meditative rituals, but I’ll mention this simply because it’s fascinating.
Mariana Mesa, a Brazilian anti-dam activist, went looking for catafalque herbs and flowers at the gravesite of the late Comrade Cuisinier Marcelo; the cemetery is in the corner of a Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood that is enjoying something of a revival, due to its proximity to the city’s Guanabara Bay where much of the recreational water sport to take part in this year is taking place. It turned out that Cuisinier had a Catafalque botanical collection, which was impressive in its scope. But it was also quite small. What Mesa found this time, however, was something that no one at the cemetery has ever seen before: real flower buds, with holes in them. Mesa put out an Instagram post showing various Flower Cactus, or Muscat, buds, juxtaposed with mason jar boxes of shells, and an antechamber of petrified seeds. Some flowers were clearly protected by stickers: the Brazilian equivalent of US Pima Cotton flowers.
Flower buds are plant parts that were once used as medicine, or infused in various dish preparations. They’re relatively common in Brazil, as part of catafalque rituals; if you take a stroll around catafalque gardens, you’ll see similar floral arrangements everywhere you go. Sensory mushrooms The unique flavour of the flowers, however, was striking to me. With herbs like the Amazonian Coryn Gum (Evianscens) and the Mexican Thousandberry, they’re essentially sensory mushrooms.
Celia, a yellow flowering flower flower, and Ilex cubensis, also known as Mexican Cheese flower, are both known as medicinal mushrooms. Their fragrant, greenish, somewhat smelly leaves make them popular with those on the astral plane, whose olfactory receptors are more evolved than the ones in our more terrestrial (though non-human) bodies. As Mari reported, the original catafalque garden was in the mountains of São Paulo state. It was once home to around 5,000 people. Mesa visited by herself, and say at a cemetery manager or two warned her not to take food inside, for fear that some of the interesting stuff could interfere with the catafalque pegs, which are meant to be placed inside the graves.