Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
Letter from the Editor - Fall 2004Nearly anyone who has been involved as a staff member or volunteer at the Wildflower Center can tell you how important the organization's mission is to everything we do here. The Center educates people about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants. When decisions are made regarding programming at the Wildflower Center - from plant sales to kids' camps - how well these programs relate to the mission is always in question.
But what lies behind the mission of the Wildflower Center? What about native plants unites ecologists, gardeners, educators, and botanists here - all looking to conserve, promote, and utilize them?
It is important to understand why we do what we do here. Is it that in and of themselves natives are just inherently better than non-natives? Is it that natives help us conserve other natural resources like water and by nature are just easier to maintain in our gadens? Or is it that native plants are better for wildlife? Are these things even true?
We are asked these questions often, and we dedicate the issue of Native Plants to setting the record straight. In The Native Truth (pages 18-20), Sheryl DeVore examines the fact and fiction about native plants - from their cost to ease of maintenance to the beauty they being to individual regions.
As always, we feature the seasonal beauty of one particular genus in this issue. Lisa Halvorsen looks at the famous sunflower and its significance to the season and to different locales the world over (Here Comes the Sun, pages 12-17). We also honor all those heading back to school with a look by Julie Bawden Davis at school-based nature programs (Nature and Nurture, pages 24-28).
At the Wildflower Center, we don't claim to have all the answers about the many benefits of native plants, but we loke to lead the discussion in getting the questions answered. We hope this issue of Native Plants is at least a start.