Peter Del Tredici makes us examine what makes a plant worth admiration:
“I consider ‘weed’ to be a politically incorrect term,” he says. “There is no biological definition of the term weed. It’s really a value judgment.“
In other words:
If we saw this motley collection of plants differently, Del Tredici suggests, we’d realize they’re a kind of marvel: living things in the harsh and stressful urban landscape that don’t just survive there, but thrive. With no effort on our part, they fill the city with greenery, providing cleaner air and water, shade, and food and habitat for wildlife. They do it without expensive fertilizers and irrigation. It’s time, he suggests, that we learned to embrace them — to stop thinking of them only as weeds to uproot, and start considering what they have to offer.
Nothing is native to the city, he argues. …. The city habitat is so specialized, our divisions of “native” and “invasive” plants doesn’t really apply here.
Head over to see a new group dedicated to cataloging these very motley collections, and be sure to keep an eye on for your own emergent forests.