A rising international force of rebel botanists armed with chalk has taken up street graffiti to highlight the names and importance of the diverse but downtrodden flora growing in the cracks of paths and walls in towns and cities across Europe. The idea of naming wild plants wherever they go – which began in France – has gone viral, with people chalking and sharing their images on social media. More than 127,000 people have liked a photo of chalked-up tree names in a London suburb, while a video of botanist Boris Presseq of Toulouse Museum of Natural History chalking up names to highlight street flowers in the French city has had 7m views. Boris Presseq and fellow botanists write chalk plant names on the pavement in Toulouse, France. Photograph: Claire Van Beek/Handout Presseq told the Guardian: “I wanted to raise awareness of the presence, knowledge and respect of these wild plants on sidewalks. People who had never taken the time to observe these plants now tell me their view has changed. Schools have contacted me since to work with students on nature in the city.” France banned pesticide use in parks, streets and other public spaces in 2017 and […]

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