Band Name Suggestions for Horticulturalists


In the quest to think of new and uniquely grim, fierce, epic, or made-up sounding band names, the world of botany offers many unexpected inspirations. From the slow suffering of nutrient deficiency to the prolonged pain of pathogenic onslaught to the sudden death of pesticide application, there are many, many ways that plants can die, and these are a few of the most metal varieties.

Staghead Dieback — intricate, progressive, and brutal, Staghead Dieback gradually kills trees, starting with the outer limbs and moving inwards until the canopy resembles a decapitated horned deer’s head (perfect for an album cover or stage backdrop).

Fire Blight — a pathogen that can wipe out entire orchards as effectively as napalm, leaving its victims with the same burnt-out, skeletal appearance as a poorly-aged ’80s thrash band. 

Chlorosis — an unfortunate and pathetic condition characterized by a lack of chlorophyll and the loss of vibrant green leaf coloration that, much like emo, results from an unhealthy deficiency in metal (in this particular case, iron).

Nematode Damage — the devastating result of worm-like parasites that weaken a plant’s roots worse than a botched hair-dying attempt.

White Rust — a fungal affliction resulting in a white, chalky substance that covers the decaying flesh of the affected botanical subject like corpse-paint.

Black Rot — blackened is the end, whither it will send, tainting all you see, with impurity, death of harvest’s worth, never a rebirth, propagation’s end, never will it mend. Never!

Scab of Cucurbits — a fungal infection that specifically targets vine crops resulting in sores that ooze more sludge than the urban swamps of the deep south.

Anthracnose — like any proper black metal band, Anthracnose thrives in cold conditions; unlike any proper black metal band, it focuses its scorn on plants rather than people. 

Needle Cast — a devastating condition that might conjure up mental images of some sort of power metal steel-spike fantasy weapon, but that in reality involves the needles of an evergreen tree turning brown and falling off as it slowly dies.   

Pine Canker — a gradual, creeping death that works its way inwards from the outermost branches, producing hardcore lesions that grind out some filthy resin.

Verticillium Wilt — lightning fast and utterly brutal, Verticillium Wilt crushes a plant’s vascular system so thoroughly that it can’t stay properly hydrated for the duration of its performance, resulting in an asymmetrical wilting of its branches prior to the final encore, when it dies. 

Oak Blister — as blistering as an Yngwie Malmsteen solo, but without the pompousness and played exclusively on sweet green oak flesh as opposed to a signature yellow Fender Stratocaster.

Pigment Inhibitor — Pigment Inhibitor is a type of herbicide that prevents a weed’s production of chlorophyll, and like grunge on hair metal, stops it completely in its tracks. 

Follow Rowdy Geirsson on TwitterHis new book, new book, Norse Mythology for Bostonians, is out now.

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