German romantic poet Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe coined the term “urpflanze" (tr. original plant). He believed that every plant on Earth could trace its origins back to a single template specimen, an urpflanze, sort of like the botanical equivalent of an Adam & Eve. This ur-plant was a self-repeating sequence of metamorphoses—from seed to cotyledon, from cotyledon to leaf, from leaf to sepal, from sepal to petal, stamen, pistil, fruit, and seed . And though this idea reads to us like the anachronistic palimpsest of a time before science, it contains a germ of the notion that within all organisms are elements of the whole and that we are all connected.
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