Top Hated Plants (Only Semi-Rational)
Thursday, 27 Jan 11 23°C / 73°F
Weeds don’t count. These are plants people actually pay money to buy and plant. And that I hate for reasons that are sometimes rational and sometimes very much not.
- Oleander (Nerium oleander) – this is a common landscaping plant in my part of the world, presumably because it’s drought tolerant. Unlike some of the plants I hate, this isn’t an ugly plant. But it’s poisonous. My mom used to scare us with urban legends of a Boy Scout troop that had used oleander sticks to cook its hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire. Can’t remember whether they died or just went to a hospital for a long time but we were to be careful around oleanders, by cracky! For a plant this poisonous, it’s sure planted a LOT of places in California, though. CalTrans in particular loves this plant.
- Various Pittosporums, i. e. Pittosporum tobira – I hate the little fruits that many Pittosporums drop all over the sidewalk. I have no idea why I hate Pittosporum that much. But I’ve only seen one species that was kind of pretty.
- Liquidambar – I am bummed that cities won’t plant fruit/nut trees as street trees because they complain it makes a mess yet they’ll plant stuff like this that is just as messy and not edible. It hurts a lot if you happen to step on one of the fruits either bare-footed or in thin sandals. They have the redeeming feature of putting on a pretty fall display but there are a number of fruit and nut trees that would do the same.
- Impatiens – I don’t hate the whole genus but nurseries never give the entire species name for the common Impatiens they sell as bedding plants. They are bred in the most garish colors – colors that belong on Barbie packages. And at least around here they end up losing their leaves and looking really knobbly. They’re a big flag saying “we lack imagination”. Yes, they grow in shade. They’ve got that going for them.