Now woke warriors target PLANTS

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Now woke warriors target PLANTS

According to the Brixton Botanical Map’s authors, the plant wisteria has “colonial roots”, and the botanical vocabulary of “native” and “invasive” should not be used. There are “colonial connotations” to categorising plants as “exotic” because of links to the “mysteriously foreign,” the authors say.

The pamphlet is designed to showcase green spaces in Brixton, South London, to visiting tourists.

Named ‘Art on the Underground,’ the pamphlet details the “colonial roots of plants in our parks, gardens and squares today,” and claims colonial legacies “still affect who owns a garden today and who doesn’t.”

The sightseeing guide added that “many of London’s plants were imported as seeds by naturalists who were engaged in colonial activity of all kinds, from plantation and slave-ownership to East India Company business.”

The map’s authors single out Myatt’s Fields Park because the original Mr Myatt’s trade in rhubarb grew with the importation of sugar, produced by slaves.

The plant wisteria is also deemed problematic by the pamphlet for being “brought to England in 1812 by John Reeve, an East India Company tea inspector.”

They add that the East India Company “had its own armies to conquer and control territories in South and East Asia and plant collectors used East India Company ships and networks.”

The guide also points out that the London plane tree is a descendent of an Oriental Plane, which they say is a “derogatory” term to “describe people or objects from or characteristics of Asia.”

It also asserts that “the use of colonial terminologies to describe ‘exotic’ plants is ongoing.

“Many common plant names reflected racist slurs.”

This could include breadfruit, which is sold in Brixton market.

It draws links to slavery as it was grown to feed slaves on plantations.

 

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