“Plant blindness” is the cause of several problems that have plagued botany outreach
and education for over a hundred years. The general public largely does not notice
plants in their environment and therefore do not appreciate how important they
are to the biosphere and society. Recently, concerns have been raised that the term
“plant blindness” is problematic due to the fact that it is a disability metaphor and
equates a disability with a negative trait. In this Brief Report, I place the term “plant
blindness” into historical context through a short literature review on the subject
and follow this with why the term has been criticized for its ableism. I then propose
a more appropriate term to replace plant blindness: plant awareness disparity (PAD)
and explain why it both addresses the problems with “plant blindness” while keeping
the original reasoning behind the term intact.