Plants can be in this category.

They tend not to be noticed or acknowledged because they’re often backdrops to life.

But they’re important infrastructure that holds our world in place.

Look around you. Where are the plants? If you’re on a street, do you notice the cars, people, or buildings? Do you see the plants – trees, shrubs, grass – that surrounds all the other things?

Consider a world without plants - nothing to eat, major mudslides, no green, no flowers…bare empty spaces with no food or habitat for animals.

Before plants can be seen as a tool for Earth’s sustainability solutions, they have to be seen.

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Could you be Plant Blind?

Botanists James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schussler named and described Plant Blindness.

You don’t really acknowledge plants, so they couldn’t be important:

  • “the inability to see or notice the plants in one's own environment, leading to the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs.”

There’s nothing plants can offer in regards to art and science:
 

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“inability to appreciate the aesthetic and unique biological features”

Le Ginko Biloba L.; Andreas Sprecher; 1907; Geneve, Impremie Atar, S.A.; Corraterie, 12.

Besides, animals are better than plants.
Cuter, right?

  •  “the misguided, anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals, leading to the erroneous conclusion that they are unworthy of human consideration.”

Quiz: Are you plant blind?

Here’s a picture from Australia.  Select the correct response.

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A. It’s a large rabbit.
B. No. It’s a kangaroo. How did it get up so close?
C. What are the trees in the background?

If you answered…

A. You need to see the whole body to confirm this. It’s not a rabbit.
B. You need to ask the photographer.
C. You’re wondering what trees are native to Australian kangaroo habitat.

If you answered A and B, you might be plant blind.

If you answered C, congratulations! You’re plant aware.

Here’s a multi-colored picture...
What questions do you have about it?

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A. I see an owl. So cute!
B. Why is the tree allowing the owl to sit on it?
C. How thick is the tree bark?
D. What biome do these organisms live in?

If you answered…

A. The owl is more noticeable to you than the tree.
B. You’re anthropomorphizing trees, which aren’t animals.
C. You realize that the bark is protective for both the tree and the owl.
D. You realize there’s many other factors in this picture that support the life of the tree and the owl.

If you answered A and B, you might be plant blind.

If you answered C and D, congratulations! You’re plant aware.

What do you want to know about this picture?

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A. When are the flowers going to bloom?
B. What made the holes in the leaf?
C. What type of plant is in the picture?
D. What’s the genus and species of that insect?

A. When are the flowers going to bloom?
B. What made the holes in the leaf?
C. What type of plant is in the picture?
D. What’s the genus and species of that insect?

If you answered D, you’ve mostly animal aware. Plant aware, not so much.
If you answered B, you realize there’s synergy between organisms in the environment. 
If you answered A or C, you’ve got plant blindness licked. Keep up the good work!