Promoting wild plants in urban landscaping: a case study from Sri Lanka

S.A.E.C Wijesinghe, K. Yakandawala, W.A.I.P Karunarathne
Planting design with wild plants which can be used to enhance aesthetics and biodiversity is a novel concept to the developing world. The present study was therefore carried out to determine the preference towards three different planting designs in order to promote them in urban landscaping in Sri Lanka. Based on previous studies, seven plants Spermacoce assurgens, Leucas zeylanica, Tridax procumbens, Merremia tridentata, Emilia sonchifolia, Ipomoea triloba and Cyanthillium cinereum were selected as wild plants while Zinnia elegans was selected as an ornamental plant. Three planting designs (3×3 m), with only wild plants, wild plants enriched with Z. elegans and only Z. elegans were established and presented to a randomly selected 200 individuals belonging to the university community and to 35 environmentalists. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to compare attitudes towards the three planting designs and the participants were asked to rank each design based on their preference according to the given scale. There was a significant difference among mean scores of preferences for the three planting designs. The design with wild plants enriched with Z. elegans was highly appreciated by both environmentalists (mean score 2.57) and the university community (mean score 2.27) considering its aesthetic and conservational values. Therefore, the design with wild plants enriched with Z. elegans can be promoted as a low-maintenance planting design in urban landscaping among locals.
Wijesinghe, S.A.E.C, Yakandawala, K. and Karunarathne, W.A.I.P (2017). Promoting wild plants in urban landscaping: a case study from Sri Lanka. Acta Hortic. 1189, 431-434
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1189.84
aesthetic preference, biodiversity, planting design, low-maintenance

Acta Horticulturae