With over 20,000 flowering plants native to North America, the  term ‘wildflower’ does  not necessarily mean a flowering plant which will thrive in your particular area. Also, the term ‘wildflower’ can include any flower naturally occurring anywhere in the world. For those reasons, I usually use the term Wyoming native to specifically refer to plants indigenous to Wyoming.  Wyoming natives would be a much shorter list than ‘wildflower,’ and an even shorter list of Wyoming natives would be practical for home landscaping.

For those who are not set on utilizing natives in the strict sense, a ‘wildflower’ garden may be a good alternative. A well planned wildflower garden, that is, one planned with species adapted to your area, will usually be easier to cultivate and maintain than a garden of hybridized plants.

Wildflower.org is a good resource for choosing flowering plants for a wildflower garden. You can browse lists based on general geographical areas in the United States. I found the list for Western States to include a good selection of hardy flowering plants.

A natural looking wildflower garden can be a good choice for homeowners who have a small lot, but want a splash of color; those of us with limited time for garden maintenance; and those who have a large area they want to naturalize with colorful flowers. Wildflower gardens are also a good source for cutting flowers to bring indoors since harvesting the flowers will  not disrupt the slightly unruly look of the wildflower garden.

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