Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, September 24, 2009

That's Trad, Dad

On the ABC last night Tony Martin and someone else both saying that they had until recently and until disabused thought that the Australian weed called 'Wandering Jew'
(Tradescantia albiflora):

was instead called the oddly poetic 'Wandering Dew'.

That makes no sense, but then I suppose that Wandering Jew makes no sense unless you know the legend of Cartaphilus. I would have expected Tony to have known it, though - he's comparatively literate.

But the point, I suppose, of it all is that we've all been more or less OK with the identification of a noxious weed with a jew. A very particular jew, indeed, immortal and romantic, but a jew nonetheless. Immortality, too, that in the plant is more ineradicability - you can grub up any number of the plants and they will still creep back, that sort of thing, uncontestably negative connotations. Have there ever been complaints? You'd think so, but I can see no record.

I see, in any case, there's a move to rename the weed Trad, presumably for the obvious reason;
Common name: Trad
Scientific name: Tradescantia fluminensis
(Previously known as “Wandering Jew”)

Best of British, Charlie. You might do better to keep the cultural resonances and call it zombie weed, ring in a different archetype.

Our 'garden' is practically exclusively Trad. I should probably do something about it. Like hire a gardener. My current policy is to leave it entirely to god, but Trad does seem to be his chosen vegetable.

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