How common are weeds in Jamaica

Goethe's plant in Jamaica

What can Jamaica have to do with Goethe? Actually nothing. But when you know that the original plant, which is called “Leaf of Life” in Jamaica, is also called “Goethe plant”, then one is often reminded of the poet prince, because it grows like weeds here. Goethe wrote a treatise and a poem about them. His “little plant” grows and thrives in Jamaica and the conditions are so favorable that it also blooms, as he promises in his poem:

With a leaf of Bryophyllum Calycinum

What first quietly germinated in Saxony,
is said to grow joyfully in the Maine;
Laid flat on good ground,
Notice how it takes root!
Then the plant a fresh amount
rises in an airy crowd.
Moderately warm and moderately humid
is what they think is salutary;
If you mean well with them,
they will bloom for you one day.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In fact, this plant can develop from a single leaf because new small plants form on the edge of the leaf. In this way, many new Goethe plants can arise from a leaf that falls on the earth.

The flowers of the Goethe plant are also very special: only closed, they open and bells appear.

It's a shame that Goethe didn't know what was happening to the flowers. It would also be worth a poem: Little birds specialize in these flowers. They peck holes in from above to get to the pollen.

The birds are called “Jamaican Stripe Headed Tanager”. They peck relentlessly until all the flowers are perforated. Once afterwards I saw a hummingbird on one of these flowers. He must have gleaned!