Take a look at the wildflower selection at the Vermont Wildflower Farm in Hinesburg, Vermont. The farm was established in 1981. One of the owners is a French native and the other hails from Vermont. The owners use the farm as a base for selling seeds for wild plants. Admittance is free to the meadows and woods on the property, where visitors can view many types of wildflowers (with signs that help you identify the plants).
At the farm, you will notice a field of red poppies. The plant is not native to New England, but the Vermont Wildflower Farm does not restrict itself to wildflowers indigenous to Vermont. The owner from France fondly recalls the red poppies growing during his childhood in France and has no qualms including them in his wildflower meadow in New England, along with other non-natives. You can also learn more about plants that are only indigenous to New England.
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New England Aster
New England asters are native to the northeastern U.S. There are many types of asters native to the Northeast, including the New England aster (Aster novae-angliae), a perennial listed among the salt-tolerant plants, making it suitable for roadside plantings. Pictured is a cultivar named the "Purple Dome" New England aster. Propagation can be achieved by dividing in the spring.
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Blanket flowers are so named because their colors are reminiscent of a Native American blanket. A North American plains wildflower, blanket flower (Gaillardia aristata) offers a two-toned look. Division in spring provides a way to rejuvenate these beautiful blossoms and increase your stock.
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Queen Anne's Lace Wildflower
Queen Anne's lace bears the botanical name Daucus carota. Indeed, Queen Anne's lace is related to carrots. If you pull up one of these wildflowers, you can smell a carrot-like fragrance emanating from the bruised roots.
The one dark little flower in the middle of the flower head is called the "fairy seat." The color can also vary. It can be found in shades of purple or burgundy. In his book "Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast," author Peter Del Tredici describes this special plant feature, "About one in four plants has a single deep purple flower (the "fairy seat") in the center of the cluster of all-white flowers."
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The origin of the name "bachelor buttons" comes from the way these flowers were once used. They were sometimes placed in the buttonhole of a suit or shirt; bachelors sported the flower when they went courting, according to the Colorado State Extension.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Coneflowers come in many different colors. For example, some common orange coneflowers include Echinacea "Firebird" and "Secret Lust." Those interested in natural remedies may know purple coneflower equally well by its botanical name, Echinacea purpurea. The herbal extract from purple coneflower is reputed to be effective in promoting immune system health. In wildflower gardens, purple coneflower is valued for the purplish color of its petals. Spring is the recommended time to divide this perennial.
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If ever a plant needed a common name, it's Rudbeckia hirta, better known as "black-eyed Susan." This plant is just too pretty and cheerful a plant to be called by its mouthful of a botanical name. A wildflower native to eastern North America, black-eyed Susans share the Rudbeckia genus name with gloriosa daisies.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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White Water Lily
Water lilies or pond lilies are a must wildflower for water gardens. The lily pads of water lilies are perhaps valued as highly as the water lily flowers. And, you may spot frogs lounging around on lily pads (it is not just in fairy tales). The white flowers are most commonly spotted in New England, but there is also a pink-blooming type. These splendid aquatic plants bear the botanical name Nymphaea odorata.
A similar yet different plant (also widely found in New England ponds) is Nuphar luteum, commonly known as the "yellow pond lily." It is similar in the sense that it shares the same natural habitat (ponds) and sports those iconic lily pads, but it is distinct both botanically (different genus) and color (yellow).
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Shasta daisy is a hybrid that bears a resemblance to the well-known wildflowers that were originally called "day's eye."Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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How Do Wildflower Farms Get Their Seeds?
Vermont Wildflower Farms said the best way to get their seeds is one of either two ways:
- On-site hand-gathering
- Via machines that harvest seeds from plants grown elsewhere
The farm ships wildflower seed to all points around the world.