Plant shopping in Chiang Mai is exciting, but the lack of scientific names and the high risk of buying unhealthy plants or plants unsuitable to the Chiang Mai monsoon climate can sometimes cause irritation. Here in Sweden, the concept E-plant (elite plant) includes nursery plants with a guarantee:
1. A variety selected for Swedish climate.
2. A variety which has been tested at many Swedish places to give local advice.
3. Local production to ensure the plants are in phase with the current season.
4. Species and variety guaranteed and of course labeled with scientific names.
5. Healthy plants free from viruses and fungi.
Lately, woody e-plants are equipped with a microchip with a number which can be read with a certain device. The number of the chip can be used to look up the individual plant in a database, providing all the necessary information. A lost tag will no longer mean the information is lost. The technique is still novel, and it remains to find out how reliably the information can be read, and if the plant is damaged by the injection of the microchip.
The cost for an e-plant is about 10% higher than for ordinary plants.
Future will show if this is a clever step to ensure high quality, or if this is an unnecessary technology.
Text & Photo: Eric Danell