Wild collection of native woodland wildflowers

This was on my radar, but I hadn't actually realized that this was a cottage industry in the Southern Appalachians.  Not a good thing.

A late afternoon trip to my local big-box store (for snow pea and sugar snap pea seeds) had me noticing a rack of woodland wildflowers packaged in small peat-filled packets.

Hmm, what were these, I thought?  They're cheap ($2.48); they represent a laundry list of nice woodland wildflowers, but where have they come from?

I bought a few as an experiment.  They're very small plants (it's hard to imagine wild collection, actually), but they're labelled as nursery-grown (a usual fogging-term for wild-collected, rather than nursery-propagated).

And the source - a company called Botanical Wonders in Dobson, NC - doesn't have a website (hmm) -- quite unusual in a digital age.  And there are web links to less than upstanding activities, too.

The packages that I've looked at so far are quite interesting.  The VA bluebells (Mertensia virginica) 'plant' is an incredibly small tap 'root' with some small leaves emerging.  Hmm.  The Silene virginica is a small crown of roots with a few shoots emerging.  (That's more promising as something that might have been propagated).  But who knows.

I'm going to do more investigation and make a fuss with the big-box retailer if I can gather more evidence.


  1. I bought "Bee Balm" at Lowe's and it was dead by the end of the week, if it was ever alive. I tried to contact the company, Botanical-Wonders.com" in Dobson, NC. They have a web site but no contact information. Sounds shifty if they do not want to be contacted.


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