(Lawn) Weed Party

by Ivory Soap


It’s a jungle out there.

When I was in high school. I wanted to be a field biologist.  But I had a SERIOUS phobia of dead things.  One dead frog and I was hyperventilating.  Especially if it “snuck up” on me.  Dead things can’t sneak, but I mean that it was “unexpected.”  If our high school teacher gave me fair warning, like DAYS, that there was going to be a dissection, I was okay.  But, a dead fish staring up at me when I hadn’t emotionally prepared for it?  Anxiety attack!

Little did I know, I should have been a field BOTANIST.  I love this.  I promise I will selectively weed eat soon, but there are several plant back here that haven’t flowered, so it’s not their time yet.

I have been hanging out on the UT Turf Science Weed ID site.  It’s SO FUN!  The tall shoots you see above, sticking up like cacti in the desert, are (I think) Canadian Horseweed, Conyza canadensis.  It’s in the aster family.  Not poisonous.  This is where I usually stop reading.  “Not poisonous to children.”

For the folks that have progressed past me in their plant relationships, Horseweed is super nutritious, keeps away fleas (also called Canadian fleabane), and great for making fire.  What?  Apparently, the stalks make great “fire drill,” if you’re in the mood for starting a fire the old fashioned way.  Here’s a great site on it.

Next up, we have Canada Lettuce, Lactuca canadensisAgain, not poisonous.  Some people eat it young.  Watch out when it gets older!  A little touch narcotic.  Here’s a site on it.

tall canada lettuce

Below, we have Broad Leaf Plantain, Plantago major.  I think Daisy makes stuff out of this one.  I’ll let her post about it.

broadleaf plantain

In the comments of the first post, someone identified this next plant for me. Poor Man’s Pepper, lepidium virginicum.  Again, here is a great site on it’s uses. No poisonous look alikes.  He even has a recipe for it on that site.

poor man pepper 2

Ooo, next is Ragweed, ambrosia artemisiifolia.  I have to cut this one down before it pollinates.  I’ve never seen it in person before , but my whole family is allergic to it!   Funny thing, if you have heavy metals in your yard, this is the best plant for removing it!


Any fun weeds in your yard?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann July 13, 2015 at 12:59 am

I have masses of blue Alcatel. The bees love it and it is pretty but really invasive. The roots used to be used to,produce a red dye!
I have lots of cleavers (medicinal) and some of your aster family which has gorgeous almost psychedelic yellow daisy flowers. Also elder, self seeded thyme, dandelion, lemon balm and yarrow. None planted by me.

I always wanted to be a botanist but it wasn’t to be. I think it would have been the best job for me still after nearly 40years of chopping and changing jobs. LOL.

I enjoy your blog!

Ann (Australian)
London UK

Leila July 13, 2015 at 3:26 am

Plantain is good for bee stings. Chew on the leaf and apply to the area and it helps relieve some of the pain.

Wendy July 13, 2015 at 5:39 am

Great post! I have that peppergrass all over my garden every year. I never knew what is was, just an annoying weed. Now I’ll have to try it.

Sharon July 14, 2015 at 4:51 am

Jewel Weed! It is every where this year…..last year too. I swear that this is a ‘super’ strain some how related to Kudzu, as it will take over a spot over night! I think we can thank the flood waters for bringing us so much of it, as before that we only had one little patch, and not it is all over the whole place. My neighbor says that he has given up and is letting his get almost as tall as he is before he pulls it…….so he doesn’t have to bend over to pull it up!

Ellen Peavey July 14, 2015 at 7:50 am

I like Sharon s neighbor’s idea let the weeds get as tall as you are then you don’t have to bend over just pull and throw to the chickens and ducks. The weeds are out of control here in North East Georgia the more I cut and pull the more takes over, so I think this is the year of the weed and insects taking over the garden. So far the tomatoes are doing better then any thing else, picked a couple of cucumbers and made some refrigerator pickles one mason jar so far. Ellen from Georgia

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