What’s In A Name?
|Chickory, photo by Erica Tauzer.|
own bouquet of connotations, biases, and values. This group of plants can be called colonizers, ruderals, and volunteers; invaders, pioneers, or any number of more technical terms. Falck introduces some intentionally novel terms in order to avoid, or perhaps highlight, some of the assumptions so deeply, yet silently, embedded in the term weeds. Perhaps Falck’s primary goal in the book is to make readers look for the hidden social and cultural assumptions that so often accompany the reference to weeds.
Weeds As Social Signifier
Weeds and Continuing Urban Dyanamics
|Dr. Yvette Williams, studies a vacant lot in
Baltimore. Photo by Erica Tauzer.
say as a plant ecologist, plants adapted to open sites with uncontested resources, have been a consistent part of our urban enterprise. They occupy lands that are recently enfolded into municipal boundaries, but which have yet to be built upon. At the other extreme, they dominate in sites where the retreat of industrialization and the reduction in residential density have left vacant parcels. Well funded and extensive efforts to eradicate weeds from our cities have conspicuously failed. The New York City program to abolish ragweed is a powerful example examined in detail by Falck. We will always have weeds in our city-suburban-exurban systems.
A New View of Weeds for the 21st Century
For Further Reading
Pickett, S.T.A., and J.M. Baskin. 1973. The role of temperature and light in the germination behavior of Ambrosia artemisiifolia. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 100:165-170. (now the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society.)