Wildflowers and Native Plants – Not Always the Same

Native blue delphinium photo by Sam Leininger

Native blue delphinium photo by Sam Leininger

Wildflowers come in all shapes and sizes, from small plants with delicate blossoms, to large plants with sturdy flowers. Some wildflowers have foliage with barely noticeable flowers! Each are beautiful in their own way, but beware, not all wildflowers are native to this area. In fact, wildflowers that are not native to our area can be an invasive species. These plants can take over and crowd out the wildflowers that are actually native to our area. Even wildflower seed mixes may contain seeds for plants that are not native to our area.

How can you tell?

Figuring out what plants are native to our area may not be as difficult as you may imagine. There are resources on the Internet that will guide you to wildflowers that are native to your area, no matter where you live! Check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Here you will find information about native plants and a link to the native plant database. Use this database to identify wildflowers or select wildflowers that are native to your area. Once you identify what plants you want to grow, use the Native Seed Network from Corvallis to locate sources for native wildflower seed.

Oregon Weed Awareness Week

In celebration of Invasive Weed Awareness Week in Oregon (May 17-23), take the time to control the invasive species on your property. Technical assistance in identifying invasive plants and learning about control measures is available from your local Soil and Water Conservation District. In Clackamas County, you may check out tools, such as weed wrenches and lake rakes, to tackle invasive weed problems on your property. Contact Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000 for more information.

Help yourself, and help your neighbor, control invasive weeds!

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