Informaton about Operation Wildflower

Approach to Posting Material in Albums

 

A few species growing in the southern African region, but not in South Africa itself, are included due to local interest as well as interest abroad in southern African flora. A case in point is Aloe polyphylla from Lesotho. This plant is so well known locally that many South Africans do not recognise it as an exotic. Distribution of many plants straddle national borders where plants find both sides of fences habitable. 

 

In this way succulents from Namibia and Botswana are often also South African citizens by right, i.e. by growing here in nature, not by human intervention. Indigenous plants mostly have citizenship claims from times before the drawing of national borders. Natural vegetation migration is, however, an ongoing process with no regard for territorial arrangements made by humans. 

 

Respect for biodiversity and preservation of life on earth may be better served if the concept of ownership of plant and animal species is revised. We should regard the issue in similar vein as the education that humanity had undergone when human slavery was abolished; if not in fact, at least in legislation and commonly accepted values. Albert Schweitzer long ago explored the concept of not harming a plant or animal unless justified by need. Preserving quality of life on earth is clearly an issue meriting value driven thinking. So, let the plants live where they are in the veld as much as possible.  

 

In accordance with holistic thinking, the habitat Albums of this Site warrant the inclusion of the occasional foreign plant as well. This enhances the consideration of concepts relating to environment and ecology of the earth's continuous biosphere. Or in lighter vein, excessive purism impoverishes the enjoyment of the flower world or taint it with misplaced nationalism. Nature is undivided, one living thing.

 

As amateurs we are diverse and flexible in our interest in plants, making our own rules for our hobbies and occupations. Exceptions prove rules in living systems. So rules should remain few and allow for the evolution of thought and practice as living systems do. At the same time the appropriately adapting identity of every sustained system has to be safeguarded at an adequate level.

 

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