The NPS Wildflowers section covers specification information and advice more in general than in detail. This is mostly because wildflowers are variable and it is hard to establish specification standards for this product. However, this section provides guidance and NPS wildflowers other information for particular plants and production processes can be obtained from the emerging specialists within the wholesale industry.
Origin and provenance
This subject is critical regarding the specification of wildflower seed and reference has been made in Wildflowers – Form. However for all wildflowers, in whatever form they are supplied, detail may be required about the origin of the seed or propagation material.
Origin is defined as “the place in which indigenous plants are growing or the place from which non-indigenous plants were originally introduced.”
Provenance is defined as “the place in which any plants, whether indigenous or non-indigenous are growing.”
It is not appropriate to specify particular origin/provenance speculatively. A limited number of specialist growers are producing native species and may be listed as sources. Specifications should be developed following discussions with specialists (ecologists and growers) and then, ideally, contract grown to precise requirements. For native wildflowers it is probably easiest to specify the required ORIGIN of seed, seed for seed raised plants or propagation material used in vegetative production. LOCAL ORIGIN is preferred, particularly of wildflowers which are area/region specific and are being re-established in that area. For more common native wildflowers, BRITISH ORIGIN may be adequate. It is essential to avoid cultivated seed and seed from distinctly different species populations. This is a complex subject and it is a good idea to consult local ecologists and other specialists whilst establishing appropriate specifications.