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Dispatch VI: Caveat Emptor When It Comes To Tropical Plants

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, September 5, 2006

A continuation of our series on one day of reporting in Britain’s newspapers relevant to perishables:

The Times featured a report that garden centers regularly sell tropical plants that are certain to die in the climate of the UK:

Glorious displays of trendy plants, many of them originally from tropical countries, are too frequently being offered to customers with inadequate information about their care, say critics.

Olive trees, bougainvillea, banana plants, cannas, palms, tree ferns and a range of grasses from hot climates were all named yesterday as being among those that customers are encouraged to buy.

The piece goes back and forth as representatives of garden centers keep saying they give clients all information they need to evaluate the survival odds for a given purchase.

The Pundit doesn’t understand the concept that people in the UK need extensive disclosures to know that banana trees aren’t likely to thrive in their gardens in Sussex.

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