Let’s play Name That Tree!

As a botanist, I may be biased, but I think part of the reason most people get more excited about animals than plants is that we grow up with a language for them, an awareness of the details that make each creature unique and therefore worthy of our interest and excitement.  For plants, for many of us, they remain just plants. Or possibly in three categories: flowers, plants and trees. But, as I learned to recognize the details and patterns and relationships that define the plants, plants became more interesting.

Okay, perhaps I loved learning the language of plants because I am a huge nerd. Not perhaps, definitely. But, I do believe that the more people learn about plants and their patterns, the more interested they become. I’ve taken many lucky friends out on hikes where I gush about this little beauty and that cool shrub, and¬†usually, my enthusiasm can rub off just a bit, as they learn a few plants. Our brains are built for patterns and problem solving, learning to identify plants is just one more (fun!) game.

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