Common ag weed…

Field pennycress-Thlaspi arvense-(cabbage family)is also known as stink weed(ya it does stink),fan weed,and french weed.The weed is considered either a winter or summer annuals that can grow up to .9m(3′) in fertile soil but most likely less than .6m(2′).The leaves are toothed with pointed leaves and the small white flowers are in clusters.The flowers can produce 20,000 seeds per plant. Stink weed is native to Eurasia-found in all of the U.S. and with distribution on 5 continents!You can find pennycress in the usual weed haunts:disturbed areas-one of my faves-pastures,croplands.Field pennycress may be common but as with a lot of weeds it has benefits to humans.According to ediblewildfood,com the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and is suggested to get them before they flower.As always make sure you know what you are doing here.In addition to food, the weed is being grown for bio diesel as a sub for regular diesel(bio diesel is commomly made from used cooking grease).One more-bees love the nectar for the ones that are not endangered.

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pics by td-thanks to ipm.missouri.edu and ediblewildfood.com for help.thanks for reading.Happy Monday!

Another weedy day…

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Goldenrod-Solidago canadensis-is a mid summer weed in my part of the world.They liven up the landscape as other plants start to dull.The weed has wide distribution in the U.S.-namely in the Northeast.In this pic it is well over 5′ tall and has 125 other members of it’s species.It is a perennial plant found in meadows,prairies,roadsides,trails.It is pollinated by insects and spreads by tiny seeds with hairy parachutes and root stalks.The plant can be utilized to make tea-bitter- and the flowers can be eaten with your salad.All in a days work.

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Tree of Heaven-Alianthus altissima-is also known as paradise tree,stinking sumac,varnish tree.It can grow to over 30 m and has distinctive alternate compound leaves that are sometimes confused with other members of the family.This one is characterized by it’s stinky smell when crushed.It is native to China and was introduce to England in the 1700’s mistakenly as a lacquer plant.It is a fast grower reproducing by roots and seeds-350,000!.It also produces a chemical that keeps other plants and is considered invasive. It is the tree in the book’A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”In this pic by it is just getting a start!

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Johnsongrass-Sorgham halepense-is a prolific grower not unlike the above plant.it reproduces by seeds(5o,000) and rhizomes and also is considered allelopathic-producing a chem that keeps the neighbors away.In this case it lines the city trail and helps prevent erosion b ut is a troublesome plant in ag crops.it can be found in vineyards,ditches( I have never mentioned this place before),disturbed areas-my fave place to find weeds-roadsides.it is native to the Mediteranean and was introduce as a forage crop.it is similar to maize and sorghum.It is a world weed-just not on Antarctica!it was named after Col.William Johnson-Alabama plantation owner.

pic by td;help fromWikipedia,edibblefoods.com,Weeds of North America

It dots the spring landscape…

One sees this plant-weed for some and wildflower for others-all over my neck of the woods.Yellow Rocket-Barbarea vulgaris-a member of the Mustard family is a biennial plant that for the first year forms a rosette of leaves(germinates in the summer/fall) and in the second year shoots up a flower stalk that gets 1-2.5 ft. tall.The bright yellow flower has four petals with smooth leaves.As usual it is holding down some part of the planet-cultivated fields,roadsides,and waste places(my fave).YR is foraged as a food stuff being eaten as a salad-picked when young is best-and is a good source of vit c.The plant is a native to N.A. and Eurasia and is found in most of the U.S. and Canada.Like many weeds yellow rocket had a function in it’s previous life.In Medieval times it was used as a poultice for wounds.

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pic by td,research from psu.edu.