Wildflowers, as the term suggests, are a mix of flower species that grow without being intentionally planted.
All flowering plants including the wildflower are called Angiosperms. Studies show that these flowering plants appeared 80-90 million years ago, and today they are the most abundant plant on earth.
Wildflowers can grow and bloom without a seed, and are found in many regions of the world. Each continent has indigenous species. The common element between all the species is that they can grow unaided. A wild flower is identified by colour, the shape of the flower and it's geographic origin.
Though these are flowers that grow with no human assistance required and are low maintenance, they are no longer inexpensive. Over time, the name "wild flower" has been commercially manipulated. A few mixed species were combined and sold in seed packets. This practice made "wild flower" a vague term seeming more exotic and seeds are marked up expensively than if they were labeled with only a name and/or origin.
Species of Wild flowers
When a wild flowergrows naturally in an area, it is referred to as 'Native' species. If a wild flower is grown in an area that is not native to it, the flower is referred to as 'Introduced' species.The introduced species are further categorized into invasive species, imported species and naturalized species.
Invasive are species that out-compete other plants, native or not. Imported species are flowers introduced to an area deliberately or accidentally. While naturalized are wild flowers that are introduced to an area, but over time are considered as native flowers.
Uses of Wild flowers
In the 1900s the English and Europeans developed a fascination with growing wild flowers. This interest generated primarily amongst wealthy people who were accustomed to having their gardens maintained, and would experiment with new ideas.
For centuries the American Indians used Americanwild flowers for medicinal purposesto cure a range of different illnesses. In the late 1970s, an English physician also discovered that American wild flowers could be used medicinally.
These flowers are still crucial today, constituting up to 25% of the basic ingredients for today's medicines. Herbal medicines have gained popularity in recent times as many people opt for herbal remedies and supplements over prescription medications.
Today there is a strong interest in growing wild flowers. In 2002, the United Kingdom public nominated and voted for a wild flower emblem for their county aiming to spread awareness of the heritage of native species and the need for conservation, as some of these species are endangered.