Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois
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Good People Do Not Pick Wildflowers
Nature Bulletin No. 9 April 7, 1945
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Clayton F. Smith, President
Roberts Mann, Superintendent of Conservation

The early spring wildflowers are now carpeting the woods in the forest preserves, a month sooner than usual. Most of them were not hurt by the frosts this week. If you enjoy them, and if you wish to enjoy them year after year-- DO NOT PICK THEM.

There are three reasons why the person who really enjoys wildflowers, or who has good outdoor manners, will not pick them. In the first place, being wild, they are different from flowers grown in gardens or florists' greenhouses. Most of them will be sadly drooping and wilted before you get them home; they will not revive when placed in water, and you will throw them away.

In the second place, most of the plants die after the flower is picked. Only the trained botanist knows which ones may be gathered without destroying the plants which produce them. They also are difficult to dig up and transplant. Each kind of wildflower must have certain conditions of soil, moisture, shade or sun, protection from wind, insects, etc. If you want wildflowers around your home, and have the right conditions, send to one of the several companies which can furnish you seed. Do not try to dig them up from the woods.

The third reason is that wildflowers are more beautiful in the woods than in any vase. Leave them there for other people to enjoy as you enjoyed them. Then you can enjoy them again next year.

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