Traffic in plants and plant seeds

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Sat Sep 19 13:09:21 EDT 1998

Liz Day wrote:
> > Here is a practical example of the impact of plant bigotry:  In Pacific
> > Grove, California where monarch butterflies have always had native
> > Monterey Pines on which to roost, the pines are dying of an
> > uncontrollable pitch canker disease.
> How much you wanna bet that that disease is an exotic introduction?
> People who are trying to promote the use of native plants get frustrated
> when others use terms like "bigotry".  I don't think that valuing some
> plant/animal species more than others should be compared to human
> social/political relations.
> Liz Day
> LDAY at
> Indianapolis, Indiana, central USA - 40 N latitude, zone 5b.

Eco-nazi is my favorite thing I've been called so far. (Not on this
list.) I suggested that Ficus benjamina might not be the best foundation
Plant bigot is good, too. I guess we're all bug-huggers, one way or
another. Perhaps name-calling is not the best way to exchange
information. Advice and encouragement works so well.
Any pest-resistant plant that likes your climate and self-seeds is
potential bad news. (You should see julia Morton's list of Florida
trouble-makers. Citrus?) Any lep (or other bug) that loves your climate
and can find food is also potentially troublesome. But ... it usually
doesn't take long for the critters to figure out how to use it.
The problems with melaleuca really started when we decided to get rid of
it. So we cut 'em down and piled them in trucks and drove them to the
dump, with hundreds and millions of tiny seeds just a showering down all
the way.      
Similarly, when we use pesticide to attack an alien bug, we're very
likely to kill the locals who might had eaten it, once they'd figured it
	And lookit what we're doing to the forest fauna in our eagerness to
wipe out the gypsy moth ... 
Anne Kilmer
South Florida

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