Namesakes: plants

A number of plant varieties have been given the name condor. I know this not because I have been searching the horticultural literature but because I have run across the plants being offered for sale while looking for information about the California condor.

Below are examples. In only 2 cases was it apparent which condor species was being referred to and that was the Andean, not the California.

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Military symbolism

In The Seven States of California: A Natural and Human History (Henry Holt, 1995), author Philip Fradkin writes of the California condor:

I have often wondered what the fascination was with this carrion-eating vulture that is related to the European griffin. There was, of course, size and rarity and all that ferocious blackness topped by a bare neck and ruby-red eyes. The condor was a military symbol, as well as a meal ticket for ornithologists.

For this post, I set aside Fradkin’s erroneous implication that the California condor and European griffin are especially related. I do not dispute his claim that condors are “ferocious”. And I ignore his negative comment about the ornithologists who have and continue work to prevent the condor’s extinction.

This post is about Fradkin’s observation (for which he offers no evidence) that the California condor is a “military symbol”.

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