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Now woke warriors target PLANTS as Wisteria’s ‘colonial roots’ dubbed offensive

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According to the Brixton Botanical Map’s authors, the plant wisteria has “colonial roots”, and the botanical vocabulary of “native” and “invasive” should not be used. There are “colonial connotations” to categorising plants as “exotic” because of links to the “mysteriously foreign,” the authors say.

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The pamphlet is designed to showcase green spaces in Brixton, South London, to visiting tourists.

Named ‘Art on the Underground,’ the pamphlet details the “colonial roots of plants in our parks, gardens and squares today,” and claims colonial legacies “still affect who owns a garden today and who doesn’t.”

The sightseeing guide added that “many of London’s plants were imported as seeds by naturalists who were engaged in colonial activity of all kinds, from plantation and slave-ownership to East India Company business.”

Highlighted on the map is Myatt’s Field Park, between Brixton and Camberwell in south London, was named after Joseph Myatt, who was a rhubarb producer during the 19th century.

The map’s authors single out Myatt’s Fields Park because the original Mr Myatt’s trade in rhubarb grew with the importation of sugar, produced by slaves.

The plant wisteria is also deemed problematic by the pamphlet for being “brought to England in 1812 by John Reeve, an East India Company tea inspector.”

They add that the East India Company “had its own armies to conquer and control territories in South and East Asia and plant collectors used East India Company ships and networks.”

The guide also points out that the London plane tree is a descendent of an Oriental Plane, which they say is a “derogatory” term to “describe people or objects from or characteristics of Asia.”

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It also asserts that “the use of colonial terminologies to describe ‘exotic’ plants is ongoing.

“Many common plant names reflected racist slurs.”

This could include breadfruit, which is sold in Brixton market.

It draws links to slavery as it was grown to feed slaves on plantations.

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However, Dr Zareer Masani, an expert in Britain’s colonial history, has disagreed with the statements made by the sightseeing guide.

He challenges the links between botany and revisiting or re-evaluating Britain’s colonial past.

He told the Telegraph: “The fact that the current craze to blame colonialism or slavery for almost everything has now reached out plants is a measure of how absurd things have become.

“Organisations like TFL need to get a grip and focus on the services they’re meant to provide.

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The obsession with this kind of political correctness has travelled from our statues and road names to the very food we eat, the clothes we wear, the language we use and now the flowers we enjoy.

“One can only guess which new area of our lives is left for our new Puritans to attack next.”

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