A wildflower (or wild flower) is a flower that grows wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Yet "wildflower" meadows of a few mixed species are sold in seed packets. The term "wildflower" has been made vague by commercial seedsmen who are interested in selling more flowers or seeds more expensively than when labeled with only its name and/or origin. The term implies that the plant probably is neither a hybrid nor a selected cultivar that is in any way different from the way it appears in the wild as a native plant, even if it is growing where it would not naturally.

Scientists do not refer to wildflowers and generally try to discourage people from using the term altogether. Terms like "native species" (naturally occurring in the area, see Flora (plants)), "exotic" or, better, "introduced species" (not naturally occurring in the area), of which some are labelled "invasive species" (that out-compete other plants – whether native or not), "imported" (introduced to an area whether deliberately or accidentally) and "naturalized" (introduced to an area, but now considered by the public as native) are much more accurate.

In the United Kingdom, an organisation Plantlife International instituted in 2002 the County Flowers scheme whereby members of the public nominated and voted for a wild flower emblem for their county. The aim was to spread awareness of the heritage of native species and about the need for conservation, as some of these species are endangered. For example, Somerset has adopted the Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus), London the Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) and Denbighshire/Sir Ddinbych in Wales the rare Limestone Woundwort (Stachys alpina).

Typical examples

* Adonis aestivalis - summer pheasant's-eye
* Centaurea cyanus
* Coreopsis tinctoria
* Dianthus barbatus
* Digitalis purpurea
* Eschscholzia californica - California Poppy
* Gypsophila elegans

See also

*Wildflowers of the Canadian Rocky Mountains
*Native plant
*Wildflowers of the Great Smoky Mountains
*Spring ephemeral

External links

* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/zen/28900588/ North American Wildflower Guide] identification by color and petals, using Flickr content

* [http://www.realtimerendering.com/flowers/flowers.html Wildflower Identification] uses a wide range of identifiers, links to other identifiers

* [http://ontariowildflowers.com Ontario Wildflowers] Detailed information about wildflowers of Ontario (Canada) and Northeastern North America

* [http://wildflower.utexas.edu/plants/ Native Plant Information Network] Information and images of wildflowers from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

* [http://www.wildflower.org/?nd=magazine Wildflower Magazine] promotes the use and conservation of wildflowers and native plants, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

* [http://www.floridanaturepictures.com/wildflowers/wild.html South Florida Wildflowers Picture Gallery]

* [http://www.plantlife.org.uk Plantlife, UK organisation]

* [http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html Western USA wildflower reports]

* [http://chestofbooks.com/flora-plants/Neltje-Blanchan/Wild-Flowers-Worth-Knowing/index.html Wild Flowers Worth Knowing] book by Neltje Blanchan

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wildflower — Album par Sheryl Crow image bienvenue Sortie 27 septembre 2005 Enregistrement 1993 2003 Durée 75min25 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • wildflower — [wīld′flou΄ər] n. 1. any flowering plant growing wild in fields, woods, etc. 2. its flower: Also written wild flower …   English World dictionary

  • wildflower — /wuyld flow euhr/, n. 1. the flower of a plant that normally grows in fields, forests, etc., without deliberate cultivation. 2. the plant itself. Also, wild flower. [1790 1800; WILD + FLOWER] * * * Any flowering plant that grows without… …   Universalium

  • wildflower — noun Date: 1620 the flower of a wild or uncultivated plant or the plant bearing it …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • wildflower — noun a) a wild (uncultivated) flowering plant b) a flower from such a plant …   Wiktionary

  • wildflower — wild|flow|er [ waıld,flaur ] noun count a flower that grows normally in fields or in the countryside without anyone planting it …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wildflower — see wild flower …   English dictionary

  • wildflower — n. plant that grows without deliberate cultivation …   English contemporary dictionary

  • wildflower — wild′flow er or wild′ flow er n. 1) pln the flower of a plant that normally grows without cultivation in fields, woods, etc 2) pln the plant itself …   From formal English to slang

  • wildflower — /ˈwaɪldflaʊə/ (say wuyldflowuh) noun 1. the flower of an uncultivated plant. 2. such a plant. Also, wild flower …   Australian English dictionary

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