Happy National Wildflower Week from Gleeson Library!

Here is a guest post from Jacqueline Cao, a student assistant in the Reference Department.

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Spring is here, and that means it’s time to celebrate National Wildflower Week by taking time to notice the vibrant blooms throughout the United States. National Wildflower Week is celebrated during the first full week of May.  This week commemorates the beautiful wildflowers that bring life and color to our natural landscapes. Whether they are growing on pastures, mountainsides, surfaces of the freeway, forests, or even our own backyards, wildflowers are more than the eye can see. They create habitats, help conserve water, and even reduce erosion (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center).

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas sponsors National Wildflower Week. The Center is located at The University of Texas at Austin, where they aim to “inspire the conservation of native plants…, provide habitat for wildlife, and enhance human health and happiness.” The Center uses native plants to restore and create healthy landscapes. I am sure we can all recall spotting beautiful wildflowers, from Purple Coneflowers (Echinaceas), to colorful Zinnias (Zinnia violacea), and Orange California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica), these flowers are all around us!

 Gleeson Library has a similar program called the Seed Library. The seed library aims to create a space where students are encouraged to try their hand at growing something. They also aim to provide opportunities for the USF community to discuss global agriculture and the economics of food, all while encouraging the sharing of local seeds. USF students, faculty, and staff can use the seed library at no cost. There are dozens of different flowers in which you can choose from. All you have to do is log your name and email address in the “My Seed Library Log” to borrow one of the many seed packets. This is a partnership program with USF’s Urban Agriculture Program. The Urban Agriculture program also hosts a community garden that all members of the local and USF community are welcome to participate in.

Intrigued by the beauty of these wildflowers? Are you wondering where you should go if you want to see wildflowers in your area? No matter where you are located, there are great places to view wildflowers. Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website to find out where the wildflower reserves are! You can also check out the following map of wildflowers in North America on iNaturalist to spot photos of wildflower sightings throughout the nation.                           

Other ways to celebrate National Wildflower Week:

  1. Take a tour around the nature conservancies located right in our backyard 

2. Use the #NationalWildFlowerWeek to post on social media and see what you find!

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Image courtesy of Flickr.

References

  1. “Why Native Plants?” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin, http://www.wildflower.org/about/why-native-plants.
  2. All photos provided by Creative Commons.

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