Exotic plants


Exotic plants

The term Exotic plants is often used to describe plant species that have been, or are being, introduced in to parts of the world other than their historical or documented range by humans, often as ornamental plants. Exotics are frequently utilized in the garden, but are also kept in greenhouses or as houseplants.

While no plant species has ever been documented driving another species to extinction, exotics that escape from gardens are often labeled invasive species thought to outcompete native flora. In reality, however, this phenomena is exclusively a result of other anthropogenic activities such as fertilizer runoff or habitat disruption/destruction. Only humans and a handful of domesticated mammalian species (particularly cats and pigs) have ever been directly responsible for the extinction of another species.

The following examples are types of plants that have, at some point in their evolutionary history, experienced some sort of evolutionary shock or shocks that have enabled them to thrive in a wide variety of ecological niches rather than the one or two they had previously inhabited. This is a natural process, carried out by migratory birds, ocean currents, wind, rivers, and other natural phenomena. Apparently the modern notions of "native" and "exotic" species have arisen out of "multiple psychopathologies of nativism" whose "foundational concepts and logical structure...are identical to whose of the discredited ideologies of xenophobia, racism, nationalism, and fascism..." (Theodoropoulos, 2003:122).

Examples of exotic plants

* "Agave"
* Palms (Arecaceae)
* Bamboo (Poaceae: Bambuseae)
* Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae)
* Cycads (Cycadophyta)
* Cacti (Cactaceae)
* Venus Flytrap ("Dionaea muscipula")
* Moon Flower ("Ipomoea spp.")
* Sensitive Plant ("Mimosa pudica")
* Four 'o' Clocks ("Mirabilis jalapa")
* Orchids (Orchidaceae)
* Passion Flower ("Passiflora spp.")

Examples of Exotic Invasives

* Some Bamboo (Poaceae: Bambuseae)
* Air Potato ("Dioscorea bulbifera")
* Common Water Hyacinth ("Eichhornia crassipes")
* Kudzu ("Pueraria lobata")
* Multiflora Rose ("Rosa multiflora")

References

Theodoropoulos, David. 2003. Invasion Biology. Avvar:Blythe, California.

ee also

*Introduced species
*House plants
*Ornamental plant
*Hardiness zone


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