A Sonnet on Cactus Taxonomy

Sep 8, 2016 • Dylan W. Schwilk

A sonnet on cactus taxonomy

To some, a “cactus” means a desert plant.
The botanist does disagree and states
“Cactaceae” — the only group he grants
This name. Confusion labels do create!
Agave, yucca, aloe — all are nice.
Nolina, ocotillo — good and fine.
But I should not have to tell you twice
There’s not a cactus on that list of mine.
Now love, as poets long have known, abhors
All labels (rose by any other name).
So, should you call that aloe “cactus” or
Mistake some other botanical claim,
Then I’ll not hurry to correct your term,
But gently nod, so to our love confirm.