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Origins of Wild Flowers

English wild flowers can be divided into  the following types in terms

of their origin    


Indigenous plants which have been around since the last ice-age.

Introduced or alien wild flowers

They are divided into archeophytes and neophytes.

Archaeophytes are non-native plant species introduced into England prior to 1492 and the discovery

of the New World

Neophytes are non-native species introduced after 1492 when the Columbian exchange began.

Some plants introduced prior to 1492 are classed as neophytes because they did not escape into the

wild until after that date


There are a variety of sources.

1. Deliberately brought in as a food plant or as an ornamental garden  plant

2. Accidentally brought in by wind or birds

3. Accidently as a contaminant of imported crops or goods

Escapes into the wild

There are two main types of escapes from gardens and estates, casual and naturalised.

Casual - weakly persistent, dying off in a year or two, and not becoming naturalised in the wild

Naturalised - persistent, proliferating and forming permanent populations in the wild

Invasive Aliens

These are plants, which have escaped from gardens and have formed persistent, spreading and

nuisance populations in the wild.

This may happen many years after the original introduction into the country.

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