Wildflowers forum: Weeds, can we appreciate them?

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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Jul 2, 2016 12:29 PM CST
I tend to think in terms of good weeds and bad weeds. Not bad "evil" necessarily, just in terms of what can be harmful to the environment or super-invasive and exotic.
http://npsot.org/wp/story/2016/8952/
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Jul 3, 2016 2:28 PM CST

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Well, in my opinion the term "weed" is used much too freely.
Some of my most beautiful and useful plants have the word weed in their name. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Jul 4, 2016 1:12 PM CST
I appreciate many weeds and find them both beautiful and tasty.
and even the ''weeds'' I don't eat something else may and then I can enjoy the lovely butterflies .

I think that a drive in the country would be less interesting without weeds:
ditch lilies
mullein
Queen ann's lace
cornflowers
clover

all blooming along my roadsides today
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Jul 4, 2016 1:16 PM CST

Moderator

I'm also a fan of what are commonly called "weeds". Smiling Now my idea of a weed is just something growing where I don't want it to grow! Bermuda Grass is the worst weed I know! Glare
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Jul 4, 2016 1:25 PM CST

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Some of my favorite weeds that I can think of right away:
Frostweed (both the plant and the person) Green Grin!
Chickweed
Dandelion
Plantain
Lambsquarters
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Jul 4, 2016 1:29 PM CST

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I also love: Milkweed, Ironweed, and Smartweed. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 4, 2016 3:27 PM CST
The blogger ended his article on a bit of an ironic note... Didn't he?
I have a similar plant to bull nettle.... Cndosculous stimulosa... AKA 7 minute itch... And while it's a real pest.... I kinda do like the flowers, and it's a treat to observe the butterflies flit from one patch to the next... Doesn't matter how desperately dry it is... The cndosculous always look good... And... The gopher tortoise eat them!

Ima big fan of matelea too... But while the monarchs do lay eggs on them... I'm not sure if it's all that and a bag of chips as monarch food... Although... Doesn't seem to hurt the tussocks any... Or the milkweed bugs...

Yeah... I'm all in favor of removing the word weed from the language.... It no longer conveys information...

I reckon we needed a label for non-vegetables back when we were all subsistence farming, but calling wildflowers and vegetables... weeds... when they come up in the lawn... That's just wrong...
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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frostweed
Jul 4, 2016 5:31 PM CST

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I totally agree with you Stone. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jul 5, 2016 6:38 PM CST
I want an exception for ragWEED. I can think of no virtues.
Porkpal
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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frostweed
Jul 5, 2016 7:07 PM CST

Moderator

Well, they are host plants for butterflies, but I think other plants can fulfill that function without sneezing us to death Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jul 5, 2016 7:19 PM CST
There are two WEEDS I want out of my garden. Yup. I do want them gone.

One is oxalis. It can be pretty, but the reason I want it out is that it smothers everything. If I were raising it for money, I would be a very wealthy woman.

The other one is spotted spurge. Why ? Because it bites me. I always end up with blisters wherever it touches my skin. It's worse than stinging nettle.

No, I am not going to use RU or anything like that to get rid of them, but I still don't like them.

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Jul 5, 2016 8:13 PM CST
the beautiful yellow American finches love the giant ragweed seeds and cover the plants in the late summer.
I am sure I would feel differently about the plant if I had allergies.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jul 5, 2016 9:46 PM CST
Giant Ragweed actually is pretty good forage for grazing animals; it's the nasty little common ragweed that seems so unnecessary to me.
Porkpal
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 6, 2016 6:55 AM CST
While I do pull all the ragweed I see... Prior to bloom time.... You should respect that it generously waits until the end of the season before bothering us with its sexual activity.... And at my house, the deer browse it...

Plenty of other plants are also wind pollinated, the oaks and pecans and stuff in the spring... all the grasses.... All summer long...

Us gardeners in the deep south have some weeds that are actually worthy of the name.
Consider phyllanthus niruri (chamberbitter) and fatoua villosa (hairy crab weed, mulberry weed) which go from seed to flowering plant in 2 weeks...
Also consider nut sedge... One tuber can quickly cover a field in nutsedge....

And while some of that oxalis can be aggressive, due to the tuber production (pulling it merely spreads it), at least it's pretty, and edible... In fact... There's a variety known as oca... Specifically grown for tuber production.... Said to be as productive as stachys floridana... Also an aggressive spreader... But... Those tubers are tasty...

Some of us actually recognize the desirability of stealth gardens containing veggies that grow well in case of TEOTWAWKI...

While we're naming plants with weed in the name that are actually keepers...
Consider coffeeweed and camphor weed.

And... How about button weed? Host plant to the tersa moth.
[Last edited by stone - Jul 6, 2016 11:47 AM (+)]
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Jul 6, 2016 11:13 AM CST

Moderator

There is no doubt that some plants are more helpful and beautiful than others. However, I think that all plants have a purpose.
The first one I can think of is holding the soil in place and preventing erosion.
What would the earth look like without native and wild plants?
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jul 6, 2016 11:33 AM CST
Josephenine ...

That's why I haven't pulled all of the oxalis, which I truly hate. Until I have something to replace it, or can mulch the areas it has run amoke properly to allow other plants to become established, it does stop erosion. I just hate that it is so well established. I am transitioning my garden.

It takes time to take a garden from a "well-groomed-weed-controlled" garden that is more of a wild garden. In that process, there will be some plants that are far too invasive and will smother others. Oxalis just happens to be one of mine. I still want it gone so that others can shine.

I think even when we move towards a less "less controlled" landscaping approach we can edit the garden so that other plants can play a more significant role and serve the same purpose of erosion control than the thugs.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Jul 6, 2016 11:36 AM CST
'' what would the earth look like without native and wild plants?
...........................................
Naked

*Blush*
Oh, was that a rhetorical question???
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jul 6, 2016 12:41 PM CST

Moderator

Very Funny Cinda Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jul 6, 2016 4:10 PM CST
'' what would the earth look like without native and wild plants?
...........................................
Naked

Actually, that's true ... Hilarious!

When I bought my house, everything was covered with snow. I thought the house pad in the back yard was lawn. HA HA ! The joke was on me. It was covered with weed barrier and decorative rock ! When I had that scraped away, the soil, if you could call it that, would not even grow weeds. It was dead "soil". It's taken years of hauling in organic material to bring it to life. You can't buy soil up here in the mountains. I had to build the soil.

I guess in some ways, I should be grateful it can now grow weeds ... Hilarious! ... even oxalis ... Hilarious!
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 13, 2016 11:46 AM CST
Has anyone checked out the weed library on this site?
Many of their so-called weeds are actually desirable at my house, and they fail to mention that there are positive qualities!

They also fail to discuss the really bad ones we have down in the gulf coast...

Who do I talk to about this?

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