Based on my consumption habits, only two plants can compete for the title of my favourite plant: the tobacco plant and papyrus. Although most of the books that I read now haven’t been made out of papyrus anymore, I still hold this plant in high esteem for its contribution to literature (and more mundane documents).
Close to Syracuse in Sicily there are these wild papyrus bushes along the river Ciane.
Hardly anyone would ever find this far-off place. I was only in the area because I spent the night on an orange and lemon plantation close by. The next morning, the river was still covered in fog.
The river Ciane, which has its source here, is named after the nymph Kyane. She tried to prevent Hades’ abduction of Persephone, but failed and dissolved in tears. Those tears still feed the source of this river.
You can also see the papyrus growing in the city of Syracuse itself:
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Totally not how I thought a papyrus looked like. In my mind I always thought that aside from being a good fiber for paper making, papyrus bore the papaya fruit. Totally ignorant.
I also would not have noticed the plants as papyrus if I hadn’t read about them growing in the area.
The leaves are distracting, it’s only the stem which is used to produce the paper: http://www.egyptian-papyrus.co.uk/how_papyrus_is_made.htm
A very good post elaborating much about Papyrus. It carries a great historical value in ancient Egyptian history and therefore people still use it. Nowadays many people are using it to print their wedding invitation cards.