Welcome to Wildflowers of the West Village


Welcome to Wildflowers of the West Village . . .

. . . where nature and the city intersect . . . in New York City.

Patches of feral Siberian squill ( Scilla siberica ) cluster around the base of a tree in Hudson River Park on the first day of spring: March 21, 2010

The somber cityscape becomes a colorful urban fabric when the spring season turns pencil sketch shades of grey into a painting of living hues.

Viewed in this way, the city’s streets are like streams, their banks the curbs and tree pits which flank the flow of humanity. Late in March these monochromatic strips of bone-toned concrete start to be seasoned with green. Some of these patches are praised as miniature gardens, elegantly crafted and meticulously tended, while others are derided as neglected beds of weeds until transformed, by their own blooming, into wildflowers.

Like New York City’s human inhabitants, there are natives and there are immigrants. Some have medicinal uses, some are edible, and all have histories as colorful as their blooms.

Wildflowers of the West Village will be an ongoing document, beginning with the 2010 growing season, focused North to South between 14th and Houston Streets and East to West from Fifth Avenue to the banks of the Hudson River. Photos and colored pencil sketches will illustrate these dispatches from Manhattan’s patches of urbane, yet wild, flora. Churchyards, construction sites, tree pits, and sidewalk cracks – no space will be overlooked or understudied if there nature and the city reside, like red brick row homes, side by side.

– ron P. swegman

– New York City

– March 22, 2010



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  2. Michael S Strickland said

    So — are the hyacinths native or immigrant? Edible, medicinal, or poisonous? More flower stories, please!

    • Hello, Mr. Strickland — Please do read the latest post – “Conked” on the Head – which includes some of the subject matter you have requested. Yrs, in natural scientific letters, — rPs

  3. Elizabeth Weldon said

    This has been so much fun. NY city???!!!! I have most of these wild plants in my yard in Winamac, In. Thank you so much for sharing. You have given name to so many wildflowers that I have wondered about but never took the time to look up. Elizabeth Weldon God Bless

  4. […] Postscript: You can revisit the view that instilled an ever growing idea in March 2010: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/ […]

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