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Campaign Platforms

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Which Wildflower?
Vote for one


Polls closed at

11:59 pm 11/7/2023

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3 more things you can do to help the campaign

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Nominated by:

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Aquilegia canadensis

Brooklyn Bridge Park is proud to select Wild Columbine as our borough’s candidate. This Northeast native is a beloved woodland wildflower. Its wiry stems bear blue green foliage with scalloped edges. Yet the unique red and yellow flowers will take your breath away. Each has 5 upright spurred petals, which evoke the unity of the 5 boroughs. Its long floral tubes hold nectar, an important food for local pollinators like long-tongued bees and butterflies. But the relationship that really gets people talking is with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Columbine's nectar helps fuel the hummingbird's spring migration. This ecological kinship is something we're always excited to observe at the Park - one of many critical connections between local wildlife and our city's greenspaces. Referred to as “a plant for the masses,” Aquilegia canadensis is able to grow in shady conditions, hold its own during droughts and in lean soils. This makes it an ideal plant for home gardens, public spaces and restoration projects. A botanical beauty, Wild Columbine is poised to hold a place in all New Yorkers’ hearts.

Wild Columbine


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Nominated by:

Staten Island Museum
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Rhododendron periclymenoides

Did you know that Staten Island is the only borough that already has an official wildflower? In the 1980s, Staten Islanders voted for the Pinxter Azalea to represent our borough and the Staten Island Museum is proud to support it! One of our native azaleas, it grows wild throughout the city, and is especially abundant in Staten Island’s Greenbelt. In April and May these woodland shrubs are blanketed in blooms. Bathed in pink hues, the flowers' long-exerted stamen are absent on cultivars, giving our local species a showy, tropical flair. These blossoms also support many of our pollinators, including hummingbirds and butterflies. Later in summer, its thin, smooth leaves invite leaf cutter bees, which chew small circular pieces to help build their nests. In autumn it's showboating again, draped in richly colored reds, golds and mauves. Having already beaten out seven other native wildflowers for the top spot in Staten Island, we are hopeful the rest of the city will love Pinxter Azalea as much as we do!

Pinxter Azalea




Nominated by:

Lindera benzoin

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The flowers of Spicebush help shake off the cold gray days of early spring. They brighten up the woods when little else is blooming - floral cheer. The small lemony clusters are dotted along branches up to six feet high and resemble a pointillism painting. This will soon be lost when leaves emerge with their bolder strokes of color. Spicebush is ubiquitous. This shrub grows in all five boroughs and is a critical part of the forest understory. In summer, its aromatic leaves smell pleasantly of citronella, making it a fan favorite of children. Another admirer is Spicebush swallowtail. This impressively beautiful butterfly is first a hungry caterpillar that eats lots of leaves. In autumn, this shrub again radiates a golden glow, but this time with its fall foliage.

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Queens Botanical Garden

Nominated by:


Helianthus giganteus

Giant Sunflower

Sunflowers radiate joy and burst with sunshine no matter where you see them in our City. Although the Helianthus giganteus species, a.k.a. Giant Sunflower, is a native one, the sunflower genus includes plants from further afield in Central and South America. Because sunflowers are so internationally recognized and hold different meanings across cultures, we at Queens Botanical Garden felt Giant Sunflowers captured the power of New York City’s diversity and how we are all interconnected. This genus is incredibly tall, resilient, and strong, with showy yellow flowers showcased at the top of unbranched stems. In the wild it grows in moist meadows and salt marsh edges. Cousin to other composite species like asters and goldenrods, sunflowers also feed the multitudes - they provide sustenance for many dozens of bees, birds, butterflies, beetles - and humans, too! It gets bonus points for providing shelter for wildlife and spreading easily and happily in an urban environment.


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The High Line

Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Weed

The High Line nominates a native Manhattan wildflower that's everything a good New Yorker should be. Butterfly Milkweed is brash yet warm, with its hard-to-miss bright orange flower clusters that bloom from June to August. It’s an excellent and generous multitasker, supplying nectar for myriad pollinators and beneficial insects while serving as a host plant for milkweed bugs and the globally endangered Monarch butterfly. It’s beautiful and shapely, growing to 18 – 30” tall with pointed, arrow-shaped leaves. The showy flower clusters appear on the top of multiple, upright stalks which become tapered seed pods in colors of burnished yellow and bronze as the fall progresses, and give the plants a statuesque skeletal winter structure. Like a true New Yorker, Butterfly Milkweed is resilient and at home in many environments, thriving in dry and rocky open woodlands, fields, and roadsides. As its flossy, floating seeds are blown around, they help spread the milkweed love.

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