I'm pretty sure I read this a long time ago in a Hawthorne collection. It's available here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/512/512-h/512-h.htm as part of MOSSES FROM AN OLD MANSE AND OTHER STORIES.
Beatrice Rappaccini also appears in Theodora Goss's The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
and the rest of her Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series. I've only read the first of the series, which I thought was very good. The next one is on my massive reading list at my library, along with several dozen other books, which you guys keep adding to.
There's also a Marvel villain, Monica Rappaccini, who is a biochemist who works for MODOK at AIM, generally going up against the Avengers. Don't know anything about her; just one of the links that came up when I started searching for the story. She isn't the Marvel version of Poison Ivy. All of her biochemical and other weapons are scientific gadgets, not inherent like Ivy's. Per Wikipedia, Monica attended the University of Padua, so that's an obvious call-back to Hawthorne. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica_Rappaccini
One could certainly imagine a modernized version of this story, where Dr. Rappaccini genetically engineers his daughter to have poisonous skin, saliva, and/or breath. The title from the podcast must have reminded me of something. Earlier today, (before I listened to the recap podcast), I was thinking about some sort of updated vampire story involving a cyberpunk modified assassin who kills her victims by biting them with her venom-injecting teeth or kissing them with her poisonous saliva, which is just straight-up Poison Ivy, now that I read it.
Really enjoyed this story and the discussion. I hadn't read any Hawthorne before, and didn't know much about transcendentalism, so it was interesting to hear what Brandon had to say about that - gave me a much better appreciation of the story. To be honest, I just read this as a gothic tale, so I just took the setting in Italy for granted.
Reading Rappacini's Daughter brought to mind the Warhammer short story A Gardener in Parravon by Brian Craig (pen name of Brian Stableford). It was originally published in an anthology Ignorant Armies in 1989, but it's been re-published a few times since - not sure if it's still in print though. The two stories aren't similar, but A Gardener would definitely also be a good example of this new genre of "Dark Botany".
Coining the term "Dark Botany", Brandon planted in me the idea for a character that is part Indiana Jones, part Hunter S. Thompson, park Severus Snape - Travelling the world, looking for mysterious plants that can give him glimpses into strange dimensions (So, drugs. He's looking for holy/unholy drugs.)
The discussion episode was very rich and I enjoyed listening to it.
Thoreau and Walden I knew, but (as a European) I knew more about (German) Romanticism and hardly anything about American transcedentalism until now - all very interesting! I find the inclusive and feminist aspect especially striking for the time. Perhaps Hawthorne's allusion to Vertumnes and Pomona is also meant to reflect Giovanni's view of women, namely (as you said) as unwilling creatures who must be made willing without regard to their 'genius' which could have been utilised in society but is now lost to social norms.
I read the story and listened to the Recap, but still have to listen to the Discussion episode, but I also did some searching on the internet on Poison Ivy. All sorts of websites cite Hawthorne's story as the inspiration for Poison Ivy, but I could not find the ultimate source for that claim, although Wikipedia cites "Batman: The Complete History" by Les Daniels as the source (Chronicle Books 1999).
Haha, it turns out that as a culture we might be kind of obsessed with the idea of making poisonous plant people. Or afraid they're coming for us, maybe?