Garden plant or wildflower featured image

Every flower is a wildflower–a native plant–somewhere, though this is easy to forget when that “somewhere” is on the other side of the world. On the other hand, it’s easy to take our own native wildflowers for granted, or even despise them as weeds. And many popular garden plants native to North America had to be recognized as garden-worthy by gardeners in other countries before they were adopted by gardeners here.

aster
For example, the British call asters Michaelmas daisies because they bloom around the time of Michaelmas, a holiday for them and not for us.

And yet many people in North America call them Michaelmas daisies, too, because that’s what the British call them. Is it a garden plant or a wildflower?

For me, it’s both. There are asters I’ve purchased or gotten from friends because they were a particular color, but asters also grow in the fields and verges surrounding my garden, and there’s many an aster seedling I’ve weeded out of the borders. But this time of year, I can’t help but let the ones that escaped my notice bloom before yanking them.

Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia
How about Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)? I know many gardeners curse it as a weed.
Virginia creeper closeup
But it’s also sold as a vine for it’s brilliant fall color.

Is it a garden plant or a wildflower? It doesn’t grow in my garden and strangely enough, I’ve never found seedlings I needed to weed out. It does grow along the road and along the edge of wooded areas around here.

goldenrod
Goldenrod positively glows in the fields right now.

Is it a garden plant or a wildflower? That depends on which goldenrod you’re talking about! I’ve already ranted about the thuggish behavior of Solidago canadensis. I weed it out as soon as I find it in my cultivated gardens. But Gail of Clay and Limestone endorses several…