Non-Native Species A column by Jessica J. Lee

Budding History: On Nationalism and Cherry Blossoms

Through myth-making and symbolism, the natural world comes to stand in for potent human ideals.

Jul 23, 2020
What Soybeans Can Be

Soybeans were linked to life itself.

Jun 17, 2020
The Many Meanings of the Mango

Mangoes—revered and prized by almost every culture in which they are cultivated—are a migrant fruit.

May 11, 2020
How the Literature of Empire Shaped My View of the Natural World

It took me years before I realized that I’d built my notions of beauty from the stories of a distant land.

Apr 02, 2020
My Grandfather and the Fukien Tea Tree: A Botanical History

I added it to the list of things off-limits: questions about the past, the wars, why my grandparents had fled China for Taiwan. Why eventually they left that place too.

Feb 19, 2020