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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The love of weeds

I'm not talking about real weeds, things like garlic mustard, purple loosestrife, or Japanese barberry (sorry, most landscape nurseries), but the things commonly considered weeds: you know, plants like dandelion or goldenrod. Despite its non-nativity to North America, the first dandelion of spring always cheers me up, especially when it appears with a sprinkling of violets. The ground-feeding sparrows always seem glad to see it, too, given its enthusiastic seed production. And goldenrods always attract lots of attention, including that of one of my favorite bloggers, Jim McCormac at Ohio Birds and Biodiversity. His post today on goldenrod (http://jimmccormac.blogspot.com/2012/09/canada-goldenrod-harbinger-of-winter.html) got me thinking about weeds and their uses and functions, and I noticed that I seem to have taken lots of pictures of them.

Bouncing bet really is a weed, introduced from Europe, but the plant was used in the making of soap.

Flowering spurge (euphorbia corollata) is a native plant that tolerates drought,attracts hordes of small pollinators, and has seeds popular with wild turkeys.I also like the look of the green seed pod, visible forming on a couple of the blossoms in the photo.


I've always enjoyed evening primrose for its clear yellow blossoms, lemony scent, and indestructible nature, but it, too, attracts pollinators. (Note the little something on one of the lower petals.)

Bees love the dreadful, weedy thistle, as do goldfinches, which not only eat the seed (yes, the expensive niger that some of us buy for our birdfeeders is a type of thistle) but use the thistledown to build their nests.

 Wiingstem was for me an acquired taste, but I have come to love the way it lights up late-summer woods.
 And besides, the intricate flower structure is really cool.
As are a lot of weeds.

1 comment:

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