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 - Summer 2003No matter what your opinion is of the recent war in Iraq, one thing is certain. The war focused our attention on the issues of oil and oil shortages. This recognition led to a heightened awareness of the importance of our natural resources; the impending scarcity of many of these resources; and the need to devise alternatives to using these resources in the face of such scarcity.
At the Wildflower Center, we work to educate the public about the environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants. Our efforts are not focused strictly on protecting native plants for the beauty they bestow on our landscapes, but also for their significance to ecosystems everywhere. We work to preserve not only the natural resources that are individual native plant species but also the entire interconnected plant communities that include (among other things) wildlife, water, and earth.
As people everywhere take a closer look at natural resources, this issue is appropriately timed. More than any previous single issue of Native Plants, here we look at the vast ways in which native plants benefit humans' lives. We examine how throughout history native plants have been used medicinally ("The Quest for a Healing Harvest," page 12) and examine what happens when medicinal plants are harvested to endangerment. In "Marking a Watershed Moment," (page 18) we reveal how native plants and forests naturally filter drinking water - saving some communities billions of dollars. And in "The Face of the Landscape," (page 24) we profile Frederick Law Olmsted who, 150 years ago, "laid the groundwork for contemporary environmentalism" by designing some of our nation's greatest public spaces.
This issue tells you how to water your native plant garden appropriately this summer, ("Summer Lovin," page 11) and how to create a beautiful wildflower arrangement ("Root of the Matter," page 32). As always, you'll find the latest news about native plants and the Wildflower Center in Field Notes (page 7) and Sowing Seeds (page 30).
Our hope is that with this and every issue you will learn more of the many uses for native plants - both inside and outside of your garden. And we hope that native plants will be one of the natural resources you will help us protect.