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Právo: European plants are colonisers

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Prague, Dec 11 (CTK) – European plants are colonisers that have managed to put down roots in 93 percent of land all over the world, daily Pravo writes Monday, referring to a botanic research in which Czech experts participated.

“Our plants are extraordinarily resilient because they faced humans in Europe for centuries and got used to the hard conditions of farmed land,” said one of the experts, Veronika Kalusova, from the Faculty of Science of Brno’s Masaryk University.

“The (European) plants found new homes abroad because they are able to survive in various natural conditions. They do not need just one type of biotope. They also adapted to the human influence on the landscape,” she told the paper.

Kalusova said plants from other parts of the world are more “naive” and tend to stay at home.

According to the researchers, 2,550 European plant species have settled in other continents. Only cold regions such as mountain peaks and countries like Iceland or Greenland resist to the European plant invasion, Pravo writes.

The European plants travelled in both planned and unplanned ways: people who moved from Europe to settle in America took the plants with them in flower pots, but plant seeds were moved to new places also accidentally, in containers with products sent abroad, for example.

One of the biggest plant travellers is sow thistle (sonchus oleraceus), a small weed with yellow blooms that settled in North America, southern Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Saint John’s wort (hypericum perforatum) and ox-eye daisy, which are common in Czech and European meadows, can be found in other parts of the world as well, Pravo writes.

However, plants also travel from other continents to Europe and Europeans try to defend their land from weeds like the daisy fleabane (erigeron annuus), the paper writes.

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