Each year Zimbabwe crowns a new "Tree of the Year" as part of National Tree Planting Day. According to this report from the Sunday News, this year's winner is a Caribbean tree known as the Barbados nut (Jatropha curcas). How does one get to be in the running for Tree of the Year? Being a source of biodiesel helps for sure - being an invasive species doesn't seem to count against you either. The Tree of the Year for 2003 was buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mauritiana), an invasive native to Asia.
Thanks to a member of the ALIENS-L listserver for posting a link to the report. And minus two points to the Sunday News for misspelling the scientific name of the plant...twice.
That's like making the Brazilian Pepper the shrub of the year in Florida for its red berries or awarding the Chinese tallow a prize for best fall color in Houston (fall color is a reach in SE Texas).
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