Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another good article ruined by Incorrect Plant ID

Reading a good article in the WaPo's Metro section yesterday on the little-known memorial for Henry Marytn Robert, I was once again stopped dead by an incorrect Plant ID. I'm not keeping track, but in my random reading experience I'd say the Metro section writers are zero for 10 this year.

I copied the accompanying photo here -- that "holly bush" is actually the common Nandina and that misidentified "elephant grass" is known locally as "monkey grass" or "Lily turf" or more correctly, Liriope. (Just for clarification, this is elephant grass.) Both Nandina and Liriope are probably the most ubiquitous landscape plants in the DC area -- certainly not anything rare or unique. Nobody is perfect, but I do expect a basic level of plant knowledge in any area resident's brain -- similar to knowing a hot dog from a half-smoke or what times the lane direction's change in Rock Creek Park. You should just know these things.

2 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I understand why you were irritated. Why don't they just send the photo for i.d. before they write the article? I'm a garden writer, and I don't know the name of every plant. I often ask questions of gardens, nurseries, i.e., experts.

However, nandina and liriope? Sheesh!~~Dee

Doug in Mount Vernon said...

Liriope....ugh. You'd think they might have a clue when it's the McDonald's of plants in this area!