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“The U.S. is running short of people who can tell the forest from the trees.” So says a recent Wall Street Journal article that is at least partly indicative of the fate of science education in the U.S. in recent years. It tells of the growing problem of “plant blindness,” the term used among botanists to indicate the inability of many people, even those in the scientific community, to identify plants. []

ADKSparky 7 June 11

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same goes for most animals


At my age, I seem to recall the Latin names faster than the common names.


I’m a graduate of a forestry college and support a scholarship. I’m amazed how few people even care to know the difference between a spruce and a pine. I let them slide on the difference between a spruce and fit. It’s really sad.
The SUNY ESF student are our best hope for the future. That’s why I created a scholarship. Go Oakies!

Had a very heartfelt conversation with my youngest daughter a year ago.. Said she’d be the only one in a car full of peers (mixed couples) interested or knowledgeable about the trees they were traveling under. She’d mistakenly thought they might be interested in the term, and reason so many of the hillside trees had bent trunks at their base.. She was sadly mistaken, instantly feeling as though ‘something was wrong with her,’ in that she both knew, and cared…

As her former at-home-schooling-dad … I nearly apologized 😟 ..assuming all I’d taught and inspired her with regard to nature would be forever appreciated by all.. Well, I’ve read it said, “to know anywhere,” “you must first know somewhere.” She and her sister at least know somewhere ~

@Varn My daughter and hubby are greener than me. ❤️ And respect my botanical knowledge.


I definitely live in a unique ..US county. With a progressive presence for decades now, my association has been with college degreed youth headed toward careers in organic farming. I’ve met dozens - and they know their stuff!

On a whole, though, there’s little doubt society in general continues to lose it’s familiarity with nature due to lack of association. When I descend from my Applichian plateau to the cultured cities, it’s obvious why. Heck, even our locals are experts on flora & fauna ID; they may not know the Latin names.. but they know their wildlife ~

Varn Level 8 June 11, 2019

That is awesome...things like latin names help further define and categorize plants, insects, animals, etc. and is nice for those in the profession...but all we should expect from most people is to know some very basic things...and they don' are correct...many can't even name animals beyond a cat or dog...


It is sad when people can't identify the trees in their neighborhood from the leaves...

The eyeopener for me was when the cashier , a young girl, could not tell the difference between a cucumber and a zucchini ...

I hope every person who chooses to be ignorant of the very basics does not get into any poison ivy....

..or Oak 😕


I suffer from plant blindness.

BD66 Level 7 June 11, 2019
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