Ain’t No Party Like a (Lawn) Weed Party

by Ivory Soap

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wood sorrel

Cause apparently, it does not stop.  I had such a good time on this website, I went in search of the rest of the species around the neighborhood.  Above, we have violets and yellow sorrel (the heart-looking clover.)

Violets are generally considered non-toxic, but the roots will make you sick.  Since most violet species are prepared the same way, my favorite edible plant site has recipes for you.

Yellow Woodsorrel, Oxalis stricta is supposed to be entirely edible, including the roots.  But if you have kidney stones or gout, avoid it.  Also, if you were to eat it “like a force-fed lab rat,” it could leech calcium out of your bones.


mock strawberry

Indian mock strawberry, Duchesnea indica (also called Potentilla indica),  has been called everything from a cure to a poison.   Most foragers just say its yucky, but not poisonous.  I’m not sure what to teach the kids.  Thoughts?

field madder

If you look right in the middle and you will see some four-petaled flowers. In the pic, they look white, but they’re really blue.  Field madder, Sherardia arvensis,  doesn’t seem to have any uses other than a weaker dye potential than other madders.  It doesn’t seem to have any edible or medicinal applications, but it also doesn’t seem to be poisonous.  Anyone know?

Common Lespedeza

Common lespedza (Japanese clover), Kummerowia striata, is a nitrogen-fixing little puffy mat beside my driveway.  It’s my kids favorite to wallow in.  Feels good on the feet.  Apparently invasive as all get-out!  It didn’t get here until 1850.  I can’t find any information on poisonous/beneficial qualities if the kids took a mouthful.

carpet weed

Carpetweed, Mollugo verticillata, if it weren’t on my same busy-street curb, edible.  It’s especially good young (meristem state?) as a “pot herb.”  That’s hard to google, but it supposedly means it can be boiled as greens or used in soups.  Okay.  The “whole” plant is edible, but the linked author says that it doesn’t include the roots.  No word, so far, if they are poisonous, or just not yummy.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucy July 21, 2015 at 2:15 am

Have you definitely ID’d the strawberry as ‘mock’ rather than ‘wild’? Some of my strawberries seem to have crossed and I have more wild strawberries in forgotten bits of the garden than ever before. Son and I spent a happy five minutes gathering and eating a tiny handful each yesterday. They’re much smaller, longer, and seeds same colour as fruit, slightly bitter if not fully ripe but sweet if they have long enough before the mice (or the kids) get to them. 😀

Cinnamon Vogue July 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I would teach the kids not to eat the strawberries. If what Lucy says is right and they are indeed slightly bitter, then it is a signal to keep away. 🙂

farmkiti July 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm

If anything has the least bit chance of being poisonous, I’d teach the kids to stay away from it.

My sympathies on the invasive weeds! We just bought a new house with a beautiful quaking Aspen in the back yard. Well, as many people know, Aspens grow all as one big plant, sending shoots all over the place. Evidently the previous owner had kept them all trimmed down because we wondered at the lack of shoots when we bought it. Well, no need to wonder now! It’s sending out babies left and right! The only thing I know to do with them is cut them off at the base. You can pull them out by the roots, because they are shoots. And boy, is it proliferous! But I kinda expected that. Oh, well.

Yesterday I was out in the yard for quite a while pulling out other types of weeds and cutting Aspen baby trees. Luckily our yard is xeriscaped and there is only a small part that has grass, so little mowing will be required. However, the weeds come up through the rocks that are part of the xeriscaping. Any idea how to control these? I’m not real well-versed on general weed control. I don’t eat them or anything; just wanna keep them in check. Weed-Be-Gone is not a natural solution and doesn’t work very good anyway. Any ideas on a homemade natural spray or something that we can use to keep all the weeds in check? 80% of our yard is done with a tarp underneath and gravel/rocks on top, but of course weeds being what they are, they are persistent. Any ideas would be appreciated! Or else I’ll be pulling weeds all summer!

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