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Old 01-05-2020, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
539 posts, read 118,072 times
Reputation: 363

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So here are some common stereotypes I've heard about certain plants, all of which I know to be false...

Stereotype: Spruces only grow in cold climates, where there's snow.
Fact: Wrong. Dwarf Alberta Spruce will tolerate some heat, Sitka Spruce and Norway Spruce grow mostly in places without snowpack, Blue Spruce is quite tolerant of dry heat, and Norway Spruce is quite tolerant of humid heat.

Stereotype: All conifers are evergreen.
Fact: Wrong. Not all conifers are evergreen. In fact, there aren't any evergreen larches, and Bald Cypress and Ginkgo are also deciduous.

Stereotype: All ferns and orchids prefer humid tropical environments.
Fact: Wrong. While most ferns and orchids do, there are some that'll grow in arid, subtropical, temperate, subpolar and even tundra climates!

Stereotype: All oaks are deciduous.
Fact: Wrong. While the majority of oaks are deciduous, there are some species that retain green leaves throughout the winter. They're collectively called Live Oaks.

Stereotype: All palms prefer tropical environments.
Fact: While that may be true of your beloved Coconut, Queen and Bermuda palms, there are many palms that'll tolerate mild cold and/or a lack of hot summers. Chilean Wine, Chinese Windmill and Nikau palms actually PREFER mild/cool summers, and Chinese Windmill, Mazari and Needle palms as well as Dwarf Palmettos can easily thrive in winter means as low as 2C/36F provided proper humidity levels and summer temperatures.

Stereotype: All deciduous trees prefer temperate climates.
Fact: This couldn't be further from the truth. For one, drought-deciduous trees grow in many Mediterranean, tropical wet/dry and hot arid climates. Secondly, many birches, aspens and larches grow just fine in subpolar climates. Third, even subtropical climates have many deciduous trees; look at this horror!

Stereotype: Antarctica is completely devoid of angiosperms.
Fact: Incorrect. Antarctic Pearlwort and Antarctic Hair Grass both grow in the coastal tundras on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Stereotype: All woody plants use C3 photosynthesis and will die out in 600 million years.
Fact: Incorrect! Fortune's Empress Tree, Foxglove Tree and certain desert shrubs use C4 fixation. Even so, it's likely that more C4 woody plants will evolve to cope with slowly lowering CO2 by then, especially palms and evergreen conifers whose existing adaptations will buy them more time than most non-tropical eudicots and magnoliids.

Stereotype: Carnivorous plants only eat insects.
Fact: Incorrect. Some pitcher plants are big enough to eat frogs, spiders and even rodents, and Venus Flytraps can even digest human flesh if you let them close on your finger for too long (I saw one guy make a video of himself letting it burn his finger)! Also, more and bigger carnivorous plants will probably exist in the far future, going with a point I made in my last debunking fact.

Do you have any other (false) stereotypes to add?
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
11,322 posts, read 3,432,234 times
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Most of those stereotypes you listed, aren't really very stereotype-y. I don't think most people actually believe all oaks are deciduous (most people know what a Live oak is, for example). Most people in temperate climates can go for a walk in the woods and see ferns, not to mention the ones many people plant in their yards, so no, I don't think most people believe ferns prefer humid tropical climates. I have a Dwarf Alberta spruce next to my house (Kansas City gets really hot in the summer), so I, for one, certainly don't believe that spruces only grow in cold climates (though we also do get snow).
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
539 posts, read 118,072 times
Reputation: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Bond 007 View Post
Most of those stereotypes you listed, aren't really very stereotype-y. I don't think most people actually believe all oaks are deciduous (most people know what a Live oak is, for example). Most people in temperate climates can go for a walk in the woods and see ferns, not to mention the ones many people plant in their yards, so no, I don't think most people believe ferns prefer humid tropical climates. I have a Dwarf Alberta spruce next to my house (Kansas City gets really hot in the summer), so I, for one, certainly don't believe that spruces only grow in cold climates (though we also do get snow).
I do appreciate your insight. But what about the stereotypes I listed which you've not given input on? Any you know of that I missed?
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
11,322 posts, read 3,432,234 times
Reputation: 8513
Quote:
Stereotype: Antarctica is completely devoid of angiosperms.
I am pretty sure 99% of the population doesn't even know what an angiosperm is, so they probably have no stereotype about it at all!
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:51 PM
Status: "Missing the high Sierras" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: S. FL (hell for me-wife loves it)
3,350 posts, read 2,165,714 times
Reputation: 10458
I know what an angiosperm is.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:40 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
11,390 posts, read 15,000,789 times
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People who don't know much about plants won't even know what a couple of your 'stereotypes' are about. People who do know a little something about plants usually already know the 'stereotypes' you mention aren't true. In other words about the only people who might believe those stereotypes are true are people who don't care much about plants one way or the other to begin with.
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Old Yesterday, 03:07 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,226 posts, read 1,260,121 times
Reputation: 7148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Belt-lover L.A.M. View Post
So here are some common stereotypes I've heard about certain plants, all of which I know to be false...

Good post, but stereotypes are "averages" and statements about "in general." You've listed the exceptions to the stereotypes, not disproved them.


You'll make more money at the track betting on the stereotype that the fastest horses have longer legs & bigger butts than if you ignore the stereotype even tho stubby horses sometimes do win.
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Old Yesterday, 03:26 AM
 
Location: Putnam County, TN
539 posts, read 118,072 times
Reputation: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Good post, but stereotypes are "averages" and statements about "in general." You've listed the exceptions to the stereotypes, not disproved them.


You'll make more money at the track betting on the stereotype that the fastest horses have longer legs & bigger butts than if you ignore the stereotype even tho stubby horses sometimes do win.
True, but I'm not one to make bets for a profit. I'm too young to gamble, and it's one of those things I wouldn't do no matter how old I got. Not to mention this isn't really a great topic to "bet" on anyways.
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Old Yesterday, 03:51 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,226 posts, read 1,260,121 times
Reputation: 7148
We all "make bets" several times each day. It's a "good bet" that I don't try to pass that 20 ft wide corn combine on the county road moving to the next field as we approach that curve...It's good bet I should cross to the other side of the street as I approach that group of young men dressed in leathers with tattoos on every visible sq inch of skin. True, they could be MIT students out for fresh air while discussing the merits of String Theory, but that would probably turn out to be a bad bet.


The point is-- stereotyping serves a purpose.
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Old Yesterday, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,012 posts, read 3,955,847 times
Reputation: 9423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Belt-lover L.A.M. View Post
Stereotype: All conifers are evergreen.
Fact: Wrong. Not all conifers are evergreen. In fact, there aren't any evergreen larches, and Bald Cypress and Ginkgo are also deciduous.
Ginkgos aren't conifers - their closest extinct relatives are probably the seed ferns (pteridosperms), and they're not related closely to anything else today.
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