National Wildflower Week is scheduled for May 2 - 8, 2016
Across the nation, wildflowers growing beside highways, in gardens and elsewhere are valued for their natural beauty. And as Lady Bird Johnson once said, they “give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.” What better way to commemorate these beautiful features of our landscapes than getting outside or learning more about them?
About Wildflower Week
The first full week of May marks National Wildflower Week each year. Of course, wildflower season peaks at various times throughout the country, so whether you celebrate the first week of May or mid-July, the point is to get outside and smell the flowers!
Why Do Wildflowers Matter?
The beauty of wildflowers can stir up memories of a certain place or time. But the wildflowers that are native to a particular place also serve an important function in the ecology of that place. Native wildflowers are those species that were already growing in an area before settlers came and planted their favorite flowers from their homelands. Plants that are native to an area are better adapted to the local growing conditions than non-native ones. They are generally easier to establish, require less water and fertilizer and are more tolerant of the pests and diseases found in that area.Wildflowers and native plants help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife and protect the soil from erosion. In addition, native plants can require fewer resources to maintain than plants that aren't native to a region. Agriculture can benefit from native wildflowers. Patches of wildflowers located adjacent to crop fields can attract insects and other types of wildlife that in turn pollinate the crop and increase yields. In fact, more than a third of the world’s food crops are dependent on pollinators to produce fruit.
"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way." ~ Walter Hagen