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Old 07-13-2020, 01:15 PM
59 posts, read 15,615 times
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The word exotic means to come from somewhere far away.
However, we consider only tropical plants, such as palms, exotic. Surely, to someone in Europe the sequoia should by seen as ‘exotic’ because it’s from somewhere far way, but you wouldn’t because it’s a temperate plant.
Also, do people from the tropics confer temperate trees and shrubs ‘exotic’?
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:04 PM
Location: on the wind
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Well, they aren't. Definitions matter here; exotic and tropical.

How someone chooses to define tropical plays into it. There are many succulents and rock garden plants people collect that aren't native to tropical regions. They are native to arid regions. The tropics tend to be very diverse...which ends up meaning there are simply more species occurring there. More choices for growers to pick from.

Consider the descriptor "exotic". It is a matter of scale. If I buy and transplant a California sequoia to my AK garden it would meet the definition of "exotic" in terms of my locale, but if I plant the same tree within its native range in CA it wouldn't be an exotic at all. And vice versa. A native Sitka spruce hauled from my garden to another in Santa Cruz, CA might be considered an exotic plant.

Last edited by Parnassia; 07-13-2020 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:25 PM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Yup, people in the tropics and sub-tropics are amazed by things like apple trees, although we don't usually call them 'exotic', mostly it's like "Wow! Look! An apple!" Bananas, pineapples, coconuts, eh, they're everywhere and nobody is amazed to see them. When there's an apple on an apple tree everyone has to comment on it.

I'm in zone 11B at an elevation of about 1,200 feet. (Elevation matters quite a bit around here) We can get several varieties of 'low chill' apples, possibly up to five or seven varieties will set fruit here. Probably a few more varieties of peaches, maybe three or four varieties of cherries, one or two of walnuts, a couple varieties of pear. No peony whatsoever, two or three varieties of lilac. No dogwoods, no forsythia. Forget tulips unless the bulbs are dug up and put in the refrigerator or freezer every winter.

We can grow these varieties and get some fruit but we don't usually get a full fruit set since we still don't have enough winter chill time for them. Bay Laurel Nursery is my source for these 'exotic' low chill varieties although I think their source is the Dave Wilson nurseries. The Dave Wilson is a wholesale nursery and Bay Laurel will ship to Hawaii so that's why we source things through Bay Laurel.
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