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"Ouch! That hurt!" Plants of Mars seem to reach out and attack us with thorns and other prickly parts. Experienced blackberry pickers won't go near a bramble patch without protective gear, and it doesn't take long for weed-pullers to realize how much stinging nettles really smart the skin. Mars governs physical energy, so its horticultural expressions must make a strong impact on the human body. Martian plants that are smooth to the touch are only being deceptive. It's not until the proud gardener cuts into a Jalapeno that its peppery-hot, eye-watering qualities become evident.

The Martian Palate

Why does the natural world contain these difficult expressions of Martian forms anyway? One reason is that our food would be very dull without them. Bland diets are great for babies, but adult pallets crave something more exciting. The plants of Mars are hot and spicy, the kind that helped make salsa a household staple. Martian horseradish sauce isn't for everyone, but it can separate the men from the boys.

These plants' less desirable qualities help them survive in difficult environments. In addition to thorns, plants of Mars may have sharp pointed leaves. Animals are unlikely to graze very far into a bramble patch or munch on a bed of wild nettles. Many herbs assigned to Mars produce heat in the body and are favorites of humans only. Ginger, mustard, leeks and chives are but a few Martian edibles. Bitter, sharp-tasting vegetables such as onions and radishes are members of this plant family.

Fiery Flowers

This fiery planet is not completely incompatible with the floral world. Martian flowers tend to be a startling red or orange. Red-hot pokers make a bold statement, as do colorful poppies. Mars likes to blow its own horn. No wonder the audacious trumpet vine tends to grow bigger than expected. The few fruits assigned to this planet can be recognized by their tartness. Rhubarb and gooseberries are two obvious examples.

Take a Chance

Astrologers associate Mars with taking risks. To risk is to invite change and change sometimes produces hostility from others happy with the status quo. Perhaps Martian plants developed some of their hostile qualities in self-defense. How many wild thistles have been allowed to grow in a well-tended garden because it just hurts too much to pull them?

Not to take chances invites stagnation and boredom. If we ignore the scorn of neighbors and allow a few thistles to grow in our gardens, they eventually attract hummingbirds, a welcome novelty. Like sticky personal situations, Mars and its plants occasionally demand that we do something bold in order to reach the good wade through brambles for a handful of luscious red raspberries.

Some gardeners feel we'd be better off with only user-friendly plants. However, we need Martian plants to add spice to our lives. Flowers of incredible beauty grow on the stems of thorns. The rose is a lovely metaphor for the reality of love and a perfect expression of committed relationships. A thorny Martian stem holds up the beauty of Venus. In the botanical world, Venus and Mars seem to have worked out their problems well enough. Beautiful partnerships are sometimes the result of working through difficult times.

The Plants of Mars

Trees, Shrubs and Shrublets

  • Barberry (Berberis)
  • Brambles (Rosaceae)
  • Hawthorne (Crataegus)
  • Hackberry (Celtis)
  • Hercules club (Aralia spinosa)
  • Tamarisk (Tamarix)
Perenniels, Bulbs and Bulb-like Plants
  • California fuchsia (Zauscheria)
  • Common fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
  • Onions (Amarylidaceae)
  • Garlic (Liliaceae)
  • Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
  • Red valerian (Centranthus ruber)
  • Rhubarb (Polygonaceae)

Annuals and Perennials

  • Pincushion (Scabiosa)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
  • Peppers (Solanaceae)
  • Raddish (Cruciferae)



Maggie Anderson has an M.S. degree in marital and family therapy. She writes four weekly columns for AstroNet under the pen name "AstroMaggi" and does private readings for individuals and couples.

Send an email to the author.

For more information about Maggie Anderson, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Maggie Anderson:

  • Gardening by the Phases of the Moon   8/1/2001
  • Gardening by the Signs of the Moon   7/10/2001
  • Keeping Your New Year's Fitness Resolutions   1/1/2001
  • Of Plants and Planets: Jupiter   10/7/2000
  • Of Plants and Planets: Saturn   8/5/2000
  • Gardening by the Signs of the Moon   6/17/2000
  • Gardening by the Phases of the Moon   5/13/2000

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