Use of Wild Plants in Floriculture

September 29, 2022




Photographer: Menashe Davidson 
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson 

Over recent years, the floriculture trade, in particular cut flowers and potted ornamentals, has been on the rise, driven by the growing interest of society in environmental and well-being benefits. Consequently, it’s in the best interest of floriculturists to tap upcoming trends related to new ornamental plants. Wild plants are a category of potential candidates that could be used as ornamentals. The term “wild” when applied to plant species refers to plants that grow spontaneously in self-maintaining populations, in a natural or semi-natural ecosystem, that can exist independent of any direct human action.

The common globe thistle, Echinops adenocaulos, is a prickly wildflower in the Asteraceae family that thrives almost everywhere in Israel (top photo). The plant's Hebrew name is 'kipodan', meaning "hedgehog", because the spherical inflorescence of the flowers resembles a hedgehog. Seeing the thistle's cheerful bloom of impressive purple flower during Israel’s mid-summer, gave me the idea that this plant is a potential candidate to be used as an ornamental in my home garden. In addition, after the flower's petals fade, the fruits and seeds of the small globe thistle plant are eye-catching in their own right.

Last year, I collected a bundle of many single fruits called "achenes" that I inserted on an apical plate that were then sown in containers in my home garden during mid-winter. The top photo (taken on June 22) and the bottom photo (taken on July 29) demonstrate my success in the domestication of a wild plant without any modifying human labor to meet its specific needs. 


Rishon Le Zion, Israel Coordinates: 31.9730, 34.7925

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