Nature in a Name: Paulownia tomentosa—Exotic Tree, Native Problem

Nature in a Name: Paulownia tomentosa—Exotic Tree, Native Problem

“What’s in a name?” Juliet mused, dreamy-eyed, besotted, trying to reconcile the enmity between the Montagues and Capulets that would hold any union between her and Romeo as alien and unnatural. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But what mattered was where Romeo belonged and therefore who Romeo was—an enemy of Juliet’s family—not what she called him. While a rose by any other name may indeed smell as sweet, a plant out of place, by any other name— non-native, non-indigenous, exotic, alien, introduced, foreign, invasive, weed—shades in the level of nuisance we perceive it to possess.

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