Wild Wandering

“I’d rather be a tall, ugly weed.”

This is the last line of Julio Noboa Polanco’s poem, Identity.

Many of my posts have been about cultivated plants and flowers,

purposely bred, raised and carefully tended.

In Julio’s poem this type of plant is described as “watered, fed, guarded, admired, but harnessed to a pot of dirt”

Harnessed to a pot of dirt.
Harnessed to a pot of dirt.

I have chosen to give some attention on Wednesdays to the wild plants

that are sometimes called weeds.

Not all weeds are wild and not all wild plants are weeds.

Weed is a term used to refer to a plant growing where it is not wanted.

Weed is also used as a verb referring to the removal of the unwanted plants.

This is not the case when using the slang term Weed to refer to marijuana/Cannabis/hemp.

It is possible to weed weeds while smoking weed. If you confuse these three you may end up in a bit of a jam.

So today, I will show you some tall weeds on the Alley farm the are far from ugly.

Mr. Alley and Mr. Alley taking a walk out back to see the
Mr. Alley and Mr. Alley taking a walk out back to see the “weeds” and butterflies.

These may be called wild flowers by people who appreciate their beauty.

A former post  “Weeds are the Champions” highlighted the resilience of weeds.

I would like to tweak that to say “Wild is the Champion” for this post.

Scollid wasps on Goldenrod.

These lovely plants were neither planted nor tended.

God is the best gardener.

rabbits,Cheraw, Portland, Blog 1060
Strong and free Ironweed.

I have nothing in my garden that compares to this vine.

rabbits,Cheraw, Portland, Blog 1082
Wild pea vine is not praised, handled nor plucked.

The butterflies love this tall Joe Pye Weed.

rabbits,Cheraw, Portland, Blog 1071rabbits,Cheraw, Portland, Blog 1079

I was a bit jealous that I wear myself out taking care of my “harnessed hybrids” ,

while all this beauty was totally maintenance free.

Spider having snacktime.
Spider having snack time.

Follow the Flower.

Noxious and Invasive Foreigner

Mulberry weed, Fatoua villosa, is the worst weed-foe that I have ever encountered. It is a survivor.

Mulberry weed
Mulberry weed

It has alternate leaves with spiked, microscopic hairs as well has hairy stems. Little “stemlets” and blooms come from the nodes where the leaf emerges from the stem.

If you break off the top of the plant, the stem “medusas out” and it comes back up as a little bush.

multiple stems from being broken off
multiple stems from being broken off

The tiny white flower clusters ripen into purple pod clusters full of tiny seeds.

seed pods ripened purple
seed pods ripened purple

The seeds shoot out of the dried pods as you pull up the plant. You must get it before blooms ripen into pods.

“hairy crab” seed pods


Do not throw these weeds on your compost pile.  If you do you will plant them next year. Even the tiny plants can set seed.

different sizes
different sizes

It is an import from Asia that piggy-backs into your plantings from nursery stock.

It is suspected of coming to the USA with the troops and equipment after WWII.

alternate leaves and blooms at the joint
alternate leaves and blooms at the joint

It is described as noxious and invasive. These are not terms of endearment.

I usually try to find attributes for my local weeds, but this is an imported pest that ranks right up there with Kudzu.

Follow the FLOWER. Return next Wednesday for another visit with a WEED.

Weeds are the Champions, My Friend

I’ve planted my seeds

time after time.

I’ve done the digging.

I’ve committed the time.

Weeds 002

Made some mistakes.

Planted some brutes.

Weeds 003

I’ve had my share of seeds blown in my face,

But I’ve come through.

Weeds 001

And I could go on and on and on and on because…

Weeds 012

Weeds are the champions, my friend

but I’ll keep on weeding ’til the end.

Weeds are the champions

Weeds are the champions

No space for hybrids

“cause weeds are the champions of the WORLD.

FOLLOW the FLOWER for “WEED Wednesdays” for a new take on what we call weeds.