Racism is a disease afflicting every level of society. The symptoms are as obvious as a cross burning or as subtle as a schoolteacher's subconsciously lowered expectations. Its presence casts an ugly shadow across society--unfortunately, even into our flower gardens and the language that scientists use to describe their inhabitants. Sad to say, a number of racially offensive common plant names long ago slipped into the vernacular of gardening, and some have found their way into horticulture.
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