This Cheiridopsis denticulata plant is not altogether satisfied with its new home in Gauteng. It has probably not forgotten the favourable living conditions that prevail in Namaqualand, its version of the fleshpots of Egypt. Banished to an alien land feels like being an orphan, a longing lingers for heimat and parents who may still thrive "back home" in the true and proper habitat. Plants simply have limits as to the environments within which they can survive, but better, to thrive.
When one sees a beautiful plant or flower, the urge to bring it home into one's private garden should be well considered, even rightly resisted. When the adaptation required of the plant is too difficult, sentencing it to a miserable existence in adverse conditions is not worth it! We do not approve of torture through forced removal, do we?
But gardeners have their ways of changing a feature or two in a plant's new abode for make the alien immigrant feel at home, hopefully to flourish! Therein lies a challenge of skill and care for avoiding botanical xenophobia.
Gardeners may be tourists, even globetrotters at heart. Apart from real travels, they travel vicariously thanks to their plants. Bringing the strange plant sights home from faraway places allows reliving the enjoyment of those places in an inversion, a reminder. Or they don't give the origin of any plant a thought at all!
Now think of the soul-searching when these treasures succumb to untoward conditions? Does it cause pain, loss or guilt if the plants promptly die? Maybe the gardener's psyche also harbours murderous intent? Unravel some inner secrets before buying alien plants or accepting them as gifts. Think of alien invasion. And don't even think of illegally removing plants from the land of others!
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