HerbDoc just can’t resist the annual native plant sale!
Recently I attended a sale of native and/or rare perennials sponsored by the RI Wild Plant Society. I hadn’t realized just how many of the plants on my wooded property are natives, but I coveted Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Jack-in-the- Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) and Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis). I felt fortunate to pick up the first two, but an entire section of table devoted to Bloodroot was sold out.
Interestingly there were plants for sale which I couldn’t imagine folks buying…goldenrod, celandine, plantain…plants only a true aficionado could love. Truthfully don’t most gardeners just weed these out of their gardens?
I’ll admit to keeping a couple of celandines as it’s considered to be an herb, but some of those offered for sale are not very pretty and can cause allergic reactions in susceptible people.
I also managed to confuse myself when my brain began to mull these questions. Is it a native, a wildflower, or an herb? Could it be all three?
And exactly what distinguishes a weed from a wildflower? My books on wildflowers and weed charts didn’t help me very much as some plants were listed in both. Of course many wildflowers and weeds had their beginnings as valued herbs.
In the end I’d say the terminology applied to these plants would be in their value to the collector. I plan on continuing to add plants that I like to my property even if others consider them to be weeds!