It's National Wildflower Week (which happens on the first full week of May), so it's the perfect time to celebrate the beautiful blooms that not only bring life and color to our landscapes but also play an important role in ecosystems.
Many species of pollinators rely on wildflowers for food and shelter. These species, including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, help support agricultural crops. Those crops end up in our grocery markets and eventually on our dinner table. Saving these little helpers saves us too.
The problem is since the agricultural revolution in the 1800s, many natural wildflower prairies and meadows have disappeared. For example, about 97% of the UK's wildflower meadows are lost and less than 0.5% of Midwest U.S's original wildflower prairies remain. Wildflower field loss may contribute to native species decline and habitat loss.
Planting wildflowers is good for the environment for several reasons
- Wildflowers, especially ones that are native to the region you're in, are adapted to the environment already, needing no pesticides or herbicides to survive. They're less likely to pick up pests and diseases, which means less maintenance for gardeners.
- Wildflowers have vibrant, varying, and distinctive appearances. Adding a patch of these to your garden will bring depth, dimension, and natural beauty.
- Wildflowers typically require less water and next to no fertilizer, especially when they're native to the region. The existing precipitation cycles are already enough to keep the wildflowers healthy.
- Wildflowers are typically non-invasive. Some imported plants run the risk of harming surrounding native wildlife, especially when planted outdoors.
- Wildflowers contribute to air, water, soil purification, and biodiversity.
Planting wildflowers is a great way to give back to Earth. They are also are a great choice for beginner gardeners because they tend to be low maintenance and easy to grow. That's why Botanical PaperWorks makes seed paper with a blend of wildflower seeds.
What wildflowers are in Botanical PaperWorks seed paper?
Our standard wildflower seed paper blend has 6 different wildflower seed types that are found in North America. When you plant the paper in soil, the paper composts away, while the flowers grow and bloom.
Here's a look at the wildflower seed types with some interesting information about each one:
Bird's Eye is a western native but will thrive anywhere with sunny and relatively dry conditions. Its scent is sometimes compared to chocolate.
Clarkia typically blooms at the end of the wildflower season, so they have often been called “Farewell-to-Spring.” These vibrant wildflowers look great in all kinds of gardens and grow easily.
Black-Eyed Susans are sometimes used for herbal medicine and have similar effects as echinacea (which is used to stimulate the immune system). These cheerful blossoms are most at home in prairie lands, plains, meadows, and pastures where it will attract birds, bees, and butterflies.
Snap Dragon's genus name 'Antirrhinum' comes from a Greek word meaning nose or snout (probably because of the flower's unique shape.) An extremely easy to grow annual, these quick blooming flowers are a favorite for their unique and elegant appearance.
Catchfly gets its name from the white, sticky sap that oozes from its stems and tends to entrap an array of small insects. It grows great even in poor soil conditions and can withstand high temperatures.
Sweet Alyssum gets its name from the Greek word 'alyssos' meaning 'curing madness.' Historically, people used the flower to cure rabies in dogs. Its scent is sometimes compared to honey.
Now that you know about the benefits of wildflower planting, it's time to set up your garden. You can also learn more about seed paper and browse all seed products available from Botanical PaperWorks that help spread wildflowers.