Time Rhizome

6 billion years ago: The first photosynthetic bacteria emerge on earth.

7 billion years ago: Algae first evolve releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.[1]

475 million years ago: Earliest land plants (evidenced in the form of fossilised spores).[2]

383 million years ago: Ferns begin to emerge.[3]

256 million years ago: Early flowers on plants begin to develop.[4]

252 million years ago: Insects begin consuming plant pollen.[5]

200,000 years ago: Homo sapiens

10,000 years ago: Human agricultural practices begin applying selective breeding and artificial selection to plants.[6]

630 BC: Archaic Greek lesbian poet Sappho is born, eventually writing floral poetry about love between women.

100 BC: Beginning of worship of Xochipilli, Aztec god of the arts, prince of flowers, and patron of homosexuals.[7]

8 CE: Ovid’s Metamorphoses is written, with several stories about humans transforming into plants, humans changing gender, and other transformations.

1500 CE: Beginning of modern European colonialism.[8]

1533 CE: The Buggery Act, was passed by parliament which made men having sex with men illegal and convictions were punishable by death.

1673 CE: Chelsea Physic Garden is founded.

1737–1739 CE: Botanical artist Elizabeth Blackwell publishes A Curious Herbal, with illustrations based on plants found at Chelsea Physic Garden.

1760–1840 CE: The beginning of the industrial revolution. This has a global impact with large scale environmental consequences.

1861 CE: Passing of the Offences Against the Person Act. The death penalty was abolished for acts of ‘sodomy’.

1895 CE: Imprisonment of the writer Oscar Wilde for homosexual acts.

1944 CE: Queer lichenologist Elke Mackenzie collects a sample of the only known permanently submerged lichen Verrucaria serpuloides.[9]

1946 CE: Michael Dillon publishes Self: A Study in Endocrinology, documenting his transition, making transgender identities more visible.

1952 CE: Alan Turing publishes the article, ‘The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis’, where he describes how patterns occur in nature, such as stripes and spot patterns in flower petals.

1960s CE: The Lavender Scare occurs, when the government of United States of America persecuted homosexual employees.

1960s CE: The term ‘Lavender Menace’ is coined. It is originally a negative term used to describe lesbians involved in the feminist movement in the late 60’s and is later reclaimed by activist protest in the 70’s.

1965 CE: Gillian Cox , queer mycologist, publishes The Generic Names of Uredinales contributing greatly to the naming of rust fungi.

1967 CE: The Sexual Offences Act decrimalised ‘homosexual acts between two consenting adults over the age of twenty-one’.

1970 CE: Scientific research reveals human actions affect global climate change.[10]

1978 CE: The original LGBTQ+ Rainbow Pride Flag was designed by Gilbert Baker.

1983 CE: A tobacco plant is the first genetically modified plant.

1986 CE: After being diagnosed with HIV, artist, filmmaker, and gay rights activist Derek Jarman moves to Prospect Cottage, Kent near the Dungeness nuclear power station and begins a garden there.

1988–2003: Section 28 condemned the promotion of homosexuality in the UK.

2010 CE: Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, and Desire by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson is published.

2015 CE: Queer Theory for Lichens by David Griffiths published.

2020 CE: The Science Underground: Mycology as a Queer Discipline by Patricia Kaishian and Hasmik Djoulakian published.

2022 CE: A Dash of Lavender launches at Chelsea Physic Garden in collaboration with Queer Botany

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zg4qfcw/revision/2

[2] https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/106/

[3] https://www.amerfernsoc.org/about-ferns

[4] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180205092926.htm

[5] https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01864.x

[6] https://www.britannica.com/topic/agriculture

[7] https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/xochipilli

[8] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Western-colonialism

[9] https://www.jstor.org/stable/41760455

[10] https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/