wild flowers wildly grow?

chueh(7B)June 22, 2009

I have wild flowers of one type of black eyed susan, Shasta daisy, coreopsis, etc.... They all tend to be leggy, compared to regular cultivated flower plants. Their stems don't like to grow straight or straight up. They like to collapse sometimes to one side even in an all sunny spot. They don't like to stay compact; they like spreading out in all directions.

Are all these signs the characteristics of wild flower plants? They really just have a wild looking, not as refine looking as the regular flower plants

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Cultivated flower plants have been specially selected for many characteristics like: better flowers, stronger stems, cleaner foliage, better fragrance, etc. They may have originated as "wild" plants originally but now they are BETTER.

You can encourage sturdier stems by shearing some plants when they are young.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:47PM
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That is a good idea. Thank you

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:59PM
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I agree that wildflowers and wild strains of native plants have less consistent flowers and foliage, less compact growing habits, shorter bloom times, and many other characteristics that someone found undesirable.

I disagree that this makes them somehow "worse" and cultivars somehow "better."

Gardeners selected traits like more consistent foliage through careful breeding and inbreeding. Gains in those traits that were human selected are accompanied by losses in traits gained over millions of years of natural selection. Traits like disease and pest resistance, tolerance of droughts, floods, or poor soils, and above all, sexiness to native pollinators.

I plant my native garden to recreate a miniature native ecosystem. I enjoy seeing all the native pollinators and butterflies. To me, cultivation invariably means worse plants. They are less sexy to butterflies. To me, more wild they are, the better.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:17PM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

Remember, too, that not all "wild flowers" are native to the US; shasta daisys, for example, is native to Spain and Portugal, but not to North America.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 7:44PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Many wildflowers grow too tall in typical over-fertile garden soil because they are adapted for low-nutrient soils. Under wild conditions of low nutrients and often lower water than a garden, they stay shorter than in a garden. I think the wild strains of plants, especially our native plants, are 'better' than cultivars because they represent someting original and wild, rather than something refined and man-made. I don't, however, think they necessarily have better garden characteristics than cultivars. usually they don't.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:29AM
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