June 8, 2003:

Dying plant, thin, a vine, drooping brown and barren where once it had wrapped itself climbing around a cheerful iron trellis. You ordered it all the way from China, and although it wasn't the precise variety required, it was the closest thing that isn't banned by the Agriculture Department.

(Lythrum salicaria)
Folk Names: Blooming Sally, Lythrum, Partyke, Purple Willow Herb, Rainbow Weed, Sage Willow, Salicaire
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Moon
Element: Earth
Powers: Peace, Protection
Magical Uses: To settle an argument you've had with a friend, give some of this herb to him or her.

One fragile green shoot, delicate, tentative, growing its way toward sunlight amid the tangle of brown decay. What does that mean?