The term cut flower refers to flowers or flower buds (often with some stem and leaf) that have been cut from the plant bearing it. It is usually removed from the plant for indoor decorative use. Typical uses are in vase displays, wreaths and garlands. Many gardeners harvest their own cut flowers from domestic gardens, but there is a significant commercial market and supply industry for cut flowers in most countries. The plants cropped vary by climate, culture and the level of wealth locally. Often the plants are raised specifically for the purpose, in field or glasshouse growing conditions. Cut flowers can also be harvested from the wild.
The cultivation and practices of raising cut flowers form a part of horticulture. They are often included in that branch of horticulture called floriculture.
The nativeflora of the United States includes about 17,000 species of vascular plants, plus tens of thousands of additional species of other plants and plant-like organisms such as algae, lichens and other fungi, and mosses. About 3,800 additional non-native species of vascular plants are recorded as established outside of cultivation in the U.S., as well as a much smaller number of non-native non-vascular plants and plant relatives. The United States possesses one of the most diverse temperate floras in the world, comparable only to that of China.
Several biogeographic factors contribute to the richness and diversity of the U.S. flora. While most of the United States has a temperateclimate, Alaska has vast arctic areas, the southernmost part of Florida is subtropical to tropical, Hawaii is fully tropical (including high mountains), and alpine summits are present on many western mountains, as well as a few in the Northeast. The U.S. coastline borders three oceans: The Atlantic (and Gulf of Mexico), the Arctic, and the Pacific. Finally, the U.S. shares long borders with Canada and Mexico, and is relatively close to the Bahamas, Cuba and other Caribbean islands, and easternmost Asia.