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Why Grow Wildflowers?

Wildflowers and species-rich habitats offer vital resources for insects, birds and lots of other wildlife. They benefit our ecosystem and natural environment by supporting:

  • Biodiversity (the variety of different species) 

  • Abundance (the quantity of individual animals) 

Since the 1930s, we’ve lost 97 per cent of UK wildflower meadows. This has led to a significant decline in both the biodiversity and abundance of wildlife relying on meadow habitats. 

We can combat this and help reverse the decline by creating protected areas of wildlife habitat with native perennial wildflowers. It doesn’t matter how much green space you have at your disposal - every little helps! 

Why Native? 

Native wildflowers are vital, as they have evolved alongside our wildlife over millenia. Our native flora and fauna depend on one another, with many insects only able to survive using the resources of wildflowers.

As an example, many UK butterfly and moth species have evolved to lay eggs on a small selection of wildflowers, using them as their ‘foodplants’ (supporting the larvae once they hatch). Without these foodplants available to host these insects, they struggle to reproduce which can lead to a reduced population and even species becoming extinct. 

Native wildflowers (especially perennial/biennial) often support multiple types of wildlife in different ways. Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum), for example, offers: 

  • Nectar for pollinators

  • Seeds for birds in winter

  • Tall hollow stems for beetles to burrow and nest in (once the plant has gone to seed)

  • Water held within cup-like formations on the stem, benefitting insects

A garden full of non-native varieties can be very colourful, and even include nectar sources for some pollinators, but optimal conditions for UK wildlife only come from native flower species. Cultivated, non-native varieties are extremely popular, but some may not produce nectar or even have reproductive parts, meaning they often don’t need to attract or support pollinators. 

In our Seed Shop, we’re dedicated to only providing seeds from native or naturalised species which not only look spectacular themselves, but bring in a world of stunning wildlife too - butterflies, bees, birds and much more!

For more details, visit this page from Kew Gardens / Grow Wild UK on why wildflowers matter.

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