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Sunday, June 28, 2015

What is native? What is not? When does it matter?

Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca (© B. Moisset)
Definitions of native plants abound. None is entirely satisfactory in all circumstances but each may serve a specific function. Some strive for scientific accuracy; others serve practical purposes. Moreover, in some instances the nativity of a plant may not matter to the native-plant gardener. None of us is about to give up growing tomatoes regardless of their non-native status.

Some important concepts lack a perfect definition. We need to name them, nonetheless. Biologists would be lost if they couldn’t use the concept of “species” just because no definition fits all the circumstances. This word is not only important but absolutely necessary. One may need to use different definitions of “species” depending on the discipline; but that is no reason to give up the word. The concept of “native” organisms is equally necessary. It is here to stay, regardless of the difficulties that may arise at times.

Read the whole article in Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.
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© 2012, Beatriz Moisset. All rights reserved. This article is the property of Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.

1 comment:

  1. What a marvelous blog you have been writing. You just derailed my afternoon and I have so much more to read.

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