arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newfullscreen-closefullscreen-opengallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusprintreplayscreensharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Do You Know Where Your Flowers Come From?

The local flower movement is taking over.

View Images
This story appears in the November 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine.

In 1991 the United States attempted to undermine illegal drug production in Andean countries by boosting legal industries, like flower growing, with duty-free imports. Roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and orchids began to be shipped north—and U.S. flower farming was hit hard.

View Images

The trade agreement has since expired, and U.S. floriculture is bouncing back. Consumers are being encouraged to select local flowers by groups like Slow Flowers, founded by writer Debra Prinzing, and Certified American Grown, which allows farmers to label their blooms as U.S.A. grown.

“The more awareness the American consumer has about where flowers come from, the better for all of us,” says Andrea Gagnon, a flower farmer in Gainesville, Virginia. “It’s just like asking, Is this a local tomato for my BLT? Now people can ask, Oh, is this a local dahlia?”

RELATED VIDEO: Flowers Bloom Before Your Eyes

Witness dozens of different types of flowers unfurling in this stunning time-lapse video from filmmaker David de los Santos Gil. He used 5,000 out of 50,000 shots of his floral subjects for the final video, which was filmed over a period of nine months.

See more from National Geographic's Short Film Showcase.


Hear live stories from explorers and photographers around the country.

See Locations Near You


Enjoy a variety of exhibitions that reflect the richness and diversity of our world.

Buy Tickets

Follow Us