Herb or Wildflower?

Alfred Falk 450-5185 falk at titan.arc.ab.ca
Thu Jun 15 15:39:05 EST 1995


In article <3rg0vf$rr6 at acme.freenet.columbus.oh.us>, kpearman at freenet.columbus.oh.us (Kelleyanne Pearman) writes:
> 
> Are herbs and wildflowers different families of plants, or can a herb be a
> wildflower and vice-versa?  I am growing some wildflowers and I wondered

"Herb" and "Wildflower" are words to describe plants in their relation to
humans.  The terms have little to do with the plants themselves.  ... sort
of like dividing humans by categories "Blue-eyed" and "American Citizen".
Some belong to both categories, some to neither.

A "herb", according to my dictionary is "a plant or plant part valued for
medicinal or savory qualities", or "a seed plant that lacks woody tissue
and dies to the ground at the end of a growing season".

On the the other hand, a "wildflower" used to mean a plant not cultivated by
humans, especially plant native to a region.
These days many seed packagers use the term to mean any herbaceous
plant that self-seeds.

> if they had any herbal benefits.  I couldn't find any of them in my herb
> encyclopedia.  I thought perhaps they had other names.  They are
> pheasants's eye, malope, garden clarkis, sweet william, scarlet flas,
> dame's rocket, larkspur, catchfly, farewell to spring, shirley poppy,
> dwarf red corepsis, purple coneflower, foxglove, lemon mint, toad flax,
> cnaterbury bells, pink mallow, balsam flower, maltese cross, painted
> tongus, red wallflower, dahlia flowered zinnia, and scarlet gilia.  If
> anyone can give me any info on other names these might have, it would be
> greatly apprecaited.
> 
> kaeleh

Many of these are not native to North America, and of those that are, many
are not native to your area, so the term "wildflower" is debatable.
As to herbal value - I leave that to some one else.

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Alfred Falk                       falk at arc.ab.ca              A L B E R T A
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