Archive for September, 2011

Marketing, Botany, Confusion…Oh My

I was walking around my favorite craft store and noticing everything that filled the shelves.  As I dreamt about the crafts that I could do “if I had time” I noticed a particular collection of small plastic terrariums packaged in bright and happy colors.  The maker, DuneCraft, was able to connect plants to a theme (for example, the Venus fly traps had a horror monster packaging) but one package caught my eye more than the others.

I noticed the happy faced dinosaur who appeared to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex – little front arms and a large head full of teeth gives it away every time.  The plant being touted was the “Prehistoric Fern.”  Recently being enamored by ferns, I wanted to see what was going to grow in the egg shaped hothouse.  Carefully I examined the pictures and was perplexed.  “Grow your own ferns from seed!”  What?  Ferns grow by spores, not seeds!  I examined the plant labeled a fern and noticed it was Asparagus sprengeri which is not a fern at all!   This is a flowering plant – far from ferns evolutionarily.  I flipped the package over and noticed that the DuneCraft states the plant is not a fern yet continues to tout it as “Asparagus Fern.” 

The educator inside of me screams – “Stop confusing our children.”  We should not be creating scenarios that just make plant education and excitement hard!  The mom in me says, “at least this is a fun way to get kids interested.”  Torn is an understatement, but I think the educator always wins.

Until next time–