For a recent and useful reference on the importance of wildflowers to floriculture (English) see: De Pascale, S. and Romano, D. (2019). Potential use of wild plants in floriculture. Acta Hortic. 1240, 87-98 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1240.15
Vegetation that arises from sowing the seed or planting young plants of wild herbaceous plant species can also help to regenerate and requalify the environment. It improves the ability of soil to resist erosion, drought and other climatic extremes. It is suitable for parks and gardens, urban greenery, roadside margins and set-aside land unsuitable for other amenity use or for agriculture. The market for wild flower seed continues to expand.
Since the argument is central to the conservation of biodiversity, some seed producers (and suppliers) are highly conscious of producing seed from plants sourced from flora indigenous to specific geographical locations, regions or countries in an attempt to maintain genetic integrity. One of the pioneers of wholesale wildflower seed production, Emorsgate Seeds Ltd, limits production from plants sourced in Great Britain, where geographical separation has led to some unique genetic variability. On the continent of Europe, wildflower seed is often sourced from other countries due to relative availability and price. Yet in Italy, Lombardy for example takes the maintenance of indigenous flora to the Region very seriously through legislation on sourcing plant material, regional seed production, backed by genetic analysis in cases of contestation. To what extent can plant species and their genetics be made to respect regional administrative borders or specific geographical ecology?
For further details (Italian): CFA – Centro Flora Autoctona della Regione Lombardia (Centre for Indigenous Flora of Lombardy) managed by the Monte Barro Reserve in collaborazione with the Universities of Insubria and Pavia and the Minoprio Foundation. A most useful and informative booklet in Italian entitled ‘La filiera delle piante autoctone in Lombardia’ was produced by the Fondazione Minoprio.
More on wildflowers can be found in HORTCOM as a sub-theme in ‘Environmental Ethics’. The subject embraces the seeding of private gardens and urban landscapes with wildflower species not only for the beauty and harmony these flowers provide but also for their contribution to the biodiversity of insects (including bees), small reptiles and mammals. See pdf file.
‘WOW, la Cultura della Biodiversità’ (Sestante Edizione 2009) is the title of a book (Italian) that considers wildflowers and their ecology in a holistic way enriching the botany with artistic and philosophical detail. See Sales & Services.