Wildflowers in urban design: an exploratory research of preference in Italian adults

  • Alessandro Steven Colombo
  • Rita Berto University of Valle d’Aosta
  • Paolo Ferrario Univ. of Milan
  • Alessandro Toccolini Univ. of Milan
  • Federica Larcher UNIV. TURIN, DISAFA


Wildflowers are plants rich in diversity that can be used in many different ways; nevertheless they are not widely used in Italian urban settings. This exploratory study aims to verify preference for wildflowers. To this end, seventy-six adults answered a questionnaire developed to assess a series of wildflower pictures for preference (pictures depicted wildflowers in natural and urban environments, showing pro and cons of this cultivation), and a series of questions concerning wildflowers and their use (questions served as a control of preference ratings). To verify a secondary hypothesis - how preference for wildflowers may be affected by the way the issue is presented - the questionnaire was presented with or without the title explaining the nature of the study, and each question presented with or without a picture. Finally, it was verified whether an individual’s connection to Nature affects preference for wildflowers. Results showed our participants liked wildflowers (no differences between genders and ages emerged) and this correlated with participants’ connection to Nature. However questions concerning the actual use of wildflowers in urban settings still remain, e.g. concerning the fauna that comes with them, and people being more used to ornamental vegetation that challenges preference and use of wildflowers.

Original Papers