Found Colour

Common buckthorn (invasive), sumac (native plant mordant), horsetail (native plant), smoke bush (non-invasive/non-native)

Colour from plant matter of native, invasive and non-invasive plant species, collected from Toronto's remnant forests and yard waste, contemplate the contradictions, complexities, and possibilities of beauty and colour.


...on the Complexities of Identity and Invasive Plants from Anjali Vaidya

Lantana’s path traces historical fractures, radiating across the world. When forests are decimated in nineteenth-century British India, to be replaced by tea and coffee plantations, lantana finds a home in that disturbed soil. Roads and railway lines slice through the Indian countryside, draining resources from a country soon to be introduced to devastating famine. At their edges, a scar covering broken soil: lantana. In abandoned lots, on the borders of construction sites—in every forgotten cranny of urban India today, where land was cleaved and left open to the sun, lantana covers it all.

Like India, lantana as it is today in the Indian wild did not exist back in the seventeenth century. The plant has hybridized, many times. From its hybridity comes a kind of strength—the ability to thrive in a wide range of harsh environments. In Hindi there is a word corresponding to that kind of adaptability: jugaad, roughly translated as “making do.” Take the resources that you have and transform them into whatever it is you need. Improvise, adapt, and grow. In its capacity for jugaad, if nothing else, lantana is actually very Indian. - from Anjali Vaidya's article, Native or Invasive, in Orion Magazine (March/April 2017)

and a Letter to the Editor, in response to "Native or Invasive" by Jean Stewart