Gardens and horticultural units, from the tropics to more temperate climates, contain an astonishing variety of plant species from the different continents. Below is a brief selection of well-known plants, grown in Britain, illustrating this diversity of origin. It is salutary, when considering these far-flung places, to reflect on the sophisticated cultures, with skills in plant breeding and a passion for horticulture over the centuries that have taken wild plants and transformed them into the onders that we now see in our gardens.
British Isles; English Oak (Quercus robur), Geranium robertianum, foxglove, peppermint, Pinus sylvestris.
Far East (China and Japan); cherry, cucumber, peach, walnut, Clematis, Forsythia, hollyhock, Azalea, rose.
India and South-East Asia; mustard, radish.
Australasia; Acacia, Helichrysum, Hebe. Africa; Phaseolus, pea, African violet, Strelitzia, Freesia, Gladiolus, Impatiens, Pelargonium, Plumbago.
Mediterranean; asparagus, celery, lettuce, onion, parsnip, rhubarb, carnation, hyacinth, Antirrhinum, sweet pea, Rosemarinus officinalis. Middle East and Central Asia; apple, carrot, garlic, grape, leek, pear, spinach. Northern Europe; cabbage, Campanula, Crocus, forget-me-not, foxglove, pansy, Primula, rose, wallflower, parsley.
North America; Aquilegia, Ceonothus, lupin, Aster, Penstemon, Phlox, sunflower. Central and South America; capsicum, maize, potato, tomato, Fuchsia, nasturtium, Petunia, Verbena.
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