Are garden weeds wild or cultivated?

Was it mine? Nobody will let my greenhouse weeds be wild even though they chose to grow and spread in their (albeit, novel) environments. The same for a single begonia I found in a marsh that must have been cultivated. I deleted that observation ultimately because it felt so bad to be undermined.

You kind of contradit your own words, cultivated does include being planted as it falls into “human intended it to be there” and pretty much what it is, second part of cultivated is something that grew on itself, but humans then decided it’s cool and now take care of it (sometimes including moving it to another spot).
@mertensia then you go against iNat definition of it, better not post them at all if you think they’re cultivated. We’re playing in one game or each of us would decide what we like more, it shouldn’t be like that.

I don’t understand. My opinion of what cultivated is and isn’t doesn’t deviate much if at all from consensus on the forum. I’ve encountered users on the iNaturalist website that wouldn’t listen about some observations. My aforementioned random garden Begonia in the marsh, for example. I told them there’s no indication of it being planted but it could have appeared because of garden debris that floated there or something- but nobody would listen.

I don’t really enjoy hearing that I or anyone else shouldn’t post something.

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Greenhouse weeds are not cultivated and that’s what iNat states.
I don’t know what’s more likely with Begonia, seeds or vegetative parts to stay alive, if it’s the second then yeah, it’s not wild. But if it grew from seeds that weren’t brought there with purpose, but just stayed on flowers it shouldn’t be cultivated. And it’s only if you know there were something thrown away there or it’s obvious from the scene, if it’s just growing there reasons for that can be multiple and you can not be sure it wasn’t dispersed by animals.
Other people don’t enjoy arguments when answer is clear enough. I don’t think you or anybody else shouldn’t post things, but we definitely shouldn’t disobey guidelines and start arguments about it. I wrote it to you specifically because you said you were mentioned in a comment before with tons of voting.

I was told by many that even though the greenhouse weeds chose to grow there that the heat and and humidity they received from being in a greenhouse barred them from being wild.

I think it’s unfair, we have spiders living in houses while those outside die, they totally get benefits from it, so surely weeds are getting heat, but if they suddenly grew under piece of plastic they’d get it too, it’s circumstancial and greenhouse is just something that human(s) built, unless you take care of them they’re not cultivated.

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Feel tree to tag me on any greenhouse weed observations (or a reupload of the begonia), I would be happy to vote them as wild.


Thank you!

I think the actions of the people are more important in figuring out these cases than the conditions the organism lives in. Simple neglect is not cultivation. Are you tending the weeds? When you start weeding around the weeds, they’re cultivated now.


On iNat it is not a question of whether you tend a weed, but whether it was planted in the first place.

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If you tend the weeds they, of course, no longer wild.

But cultivation means tending plants. So we can have cultivated wild then. iNat only has a “wild” flag. So that leaves cultivated outside of the standard checks. That’s cool.

No, the other way around. It’s if the plant is planted or not, not about the care the plants may or may not be receiving.

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No, it’s both, if it’s planted it’s always cultivated, if it grew by itself and become tended it also is cultivated.

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That is not the iNat definition of cultivated. It’s cultivated if it “exists in the time and place it was observed because humans intended it to be then and there.”

If I pull up all the dandelions in my lawn but actively choose to leave one, that one is there because I intend it to be there, so it is cultivated.

If I plant a window box with geraniums they are cultivated, but if a self-seeded geranium appears in my lawn it’s not cultivated. If I then choose to let it grow in that spot, the second time I observe it it is cultivated.

Surely that isn’t enough to make a plant cultivated. Nature reserves are full of plants and animals that people intend to be there. They are usually the reason the reserve was established. Habitat management is aimed at favouring some species over others. If a hay crop is taken at a particular time to benefit a rare plant or butterfly, does that make them cultivated? I spend a lot of time cutting brambles (Rubus) to conserve the turf. But I also leave some bramble patches as nest sites. So does that mean the brambles I don’t cut are now cultivated?


Good points. It’s not so easy to separate humans from the natural world. Because we are part of the natural world. These terms are somewhat arbitrary and depend on goals and values of the people using them.

Briefly tend a plant and it could still be called wild. Tend or manage the plants for a longer time and it’s cultivation. Manage the plants or ecosystem for thousands of years (fire in SE US) and it’s a natural process (taking away fire is now human intervention). Reintroduce management (fire) and it’s not called cultivation but restoration or resource management.

I may have strayed from the topic but iNat is about connecting people with nature. Hmm, even that can sound odd from a certain POV.

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It remains unfortunate that iNat conflates
Not wild

Two quite different concepts that don’t split into a tidy either or.

Dandelions in the lawn would either be a cosmopolitan weed = Wild (Not, cultivated, whatever you do or don’t)

But if there is a horticultural industry, bigger and better hybrid horror, probably with nothing to feed bees, since it was carefully selected as human eye candy. And you choose to plant those seeds / plugs = Cultivated.
Or if you carefully harvested dandelion seeds (in the wild) and nurtured them = Cultivated.


So if I see a tree and don’t cut it down it’s suddenly cultivated? That doesn’t make much sense.


If it reproduces, its offspring will be wild.

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