Plants tend to fade in the background in our busy lives and go mostly unnoticed. They don’t move, they don’t bite. They just sit there being green.
You might think that being unfamiliar with plants is not that big of a deal, but it is. So much so, the phenomena in which people fail to notice plants has a name. It is called “plant blindness” and it has been the subject of discussion and research among botanists and science educators for many years.
Public indifference towards plants actually has some serious consequences. The less people know about plants, the more this impacts our botanical capacity.
What does “botanical capacity” mean? This phrase refers to all factors contributing to the support and advancement of plant science education, research, and management. Botanical capacity is necessary to enhance our understanding of the many roles plants play in our lives. Think beyond native plants and butterflies for a moment. Think food security, climate change, biodiversity, biofuel production, and sustainability. Without the botanical capacity to address these issues, we won’t be able to manage them.
What does a world without botanical capacity look like?