By Rosie Moore
At my granddaughter’s wedding we received small packets of wildflower seeds. I planted them and they are growing beautifully and ready to be re-potted into bigger pot. It looks like there are three or four varieties.
A wildflower is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Yet, “wildflower” meadows of a few mixed species are sold in seed packets. I don’t recognize my flowers, except for the marigolds.
Five wild flower species grow on the mountain slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains: wild rose, Western yarrow, bluebells, Arnica, and red paintbrush. I don’t think I have any of those. Arnica is used to soothe muscles, pain, and bruises. It is a graceful woodland plant in the same family as the sunflower. Its yellow flowers are collected at summer’s end and dried. They prefer different growing conditions in different regions of the country. Not all plants that grow wild in North America are necessarily natives. Many that we now consider wildflowers have been introduced to the wild, either intentionally or by accident.
One of my wildflowers is the marigold. I wasn’t sure if that was a wildflower, so I googled it and there it was, named a wildflower.
A Londoner named William Blake was the first of the great English Romantic poets, as well as a painter. He lived in poverty and died unrecognized. He is now acclaimed to be one of England’s great figure of art and literature. Here is one of his delightful poems.
As I wandered the forest,
The green leaves among,
I heard a wildflower
Singing a song.
I slept in the Earth
In the silent night,
I murmur’d my fears
And I felt delight.
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