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!

More Pods=More Beauty…

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Only a plant guy could love a pod like that.The pods here are from a Queen Anne’s Lace-Daucus carota- plant holding down a ‘waste area”.The flowers are flat topped that resemble lace in a flat umbel.QAL bloom late spring til fall.The weed grows about 1+m with feathery leaves much the same as your garden carrots.In addition to waste places,QAL holds down fields.meadows,roadsides,the usual handouts.You have seen them all over I know.Notice how the flower head curls up in the pod stage.These plants can make nice arrangements with both fresh and dried flowers/pods.So many pods,so little time.Thanks for reading.Pic by td-help from ediblewildfoods.com-thanks!

More final beauty…

I like Goldenrods-Solidago spp.-because they brighten up the late summer/early fall setting when the landscape is needing color.Another quality I like is how they transform their appearance as they mature into the pod stage.They look like another species.As we have learned the pods contain the seeds for the future and transform into the plant’s final beauty.Goldenrods flower July-September while growing up to 5′(1.5m) tall with golden plumes and lance shaped leaves.We can find goldenrods in all the weed hangouts:meadows,clearings,roadsides,trails.The English grow them in their gardens.If you want the pods for crafts,pick them as soon as the blooms appear to dry them.In September they will get fuzzy and later they become seedless.

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pic by td-help from Jane Emberton’s “Pods”-thanks.

 

I should of known…

I aint’ going to lie on this. I really thought that an autumn dandelion was just a dandelion I would occasionally observe in yards this time of year.I had first read the term in Walden-shocker here! My mission -as always-is to identify weeds.I finally found it in a thicket off the trail .The fall dandelion is a little different from my symbol-the dandelion,so here goes.Also called autumn hawkbit-Leontodon autuminalis-is a member of the Asterceae family(daisy) that grows 4′-15″(10-40 cm) high with stemmed branches with single like flowers.The leaves are large toothed and is found where all weeds hang out-you know the names.The major difference from my dandelion is that the autumn weeds has branched stems with several capitiva-dense flat clusters of small flowers like a daisy.Now I know.

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pic by td-if you look at the leaves you can see where they are more large toothed and the flowers are flatter than it’s cousin.Thanks to luontoporttica.com for help.A nice site.

More pods…

The pods-weeds final beauty-are the container for the seeds so they can grow more weeds.Just basic science here.In the spotlight is the cat-tail-Typha angustifolia-that blooms May-July growing up to 5′ tall(1.5m).The yellow male spikes are separated  by short gaps from the green female spikes.Also the leaves are long and blade like.You will find the cat-tails in marshes,shallow water,ditches,where ever the earth needs some anchor.The cattails been used by our colonists and our Native Indians and have used for food.The list goes on for it’s benefits.The pods should be picked as soon as the pollen bloom disappears and clean tip remains.As with many pods they can be crafted into nice arrangements.

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pic by td-Help from “Pods”-Embertson and “Roadside plants and Flowers”-Edsall.

Final beauty…

The final beauty of weeds and wildflowers lies in their pods-seed containers for the plants.In short the the pod has a beauty of it’s own.The pods in the pic are from honey vine mikweeds-Cynanchym laeve.Now the basics.The plant blooms from June -September with white vase shaped flowers.The leaves are heart shaped that tide along a twining vine that will go all over if you let it.Honeyvine-also called Bluevine-is found in ag fields,thickets,disturbed areas,my back yard.The pods are usually paired and green,growing 3″-6″ long with brown seeds.What I really love about this plant is the aromatic smell it produces-a source of beauty by itself.

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pic by td-I should of left them on the plant for a better illustration-research from ohio-state.edu.Also thanks to Jane Embertson for her book:”Pods-Wildflowers and Weeds in Their final Beauty”.I love this book!

Weedy Wednesday…

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Pampas grass-Cortaderia selloana-in this pic is holding down the marsh area.You can see this plant used as decor in the neighbor’s yard.It blooms into the fall and the blooms can be cut and dried for decorations-pods.

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Speaking of pods-the plants capsule of seeds-here is a pic of my honey  vine milkweed-Ampelamus albidus-is a true milkweed and a host for Monarch butterfly and a lot of bees.The plant produces a large amount of pollen and is a magnet for the bees and thus more vines.The fragrance is subtle but powerful in the summer breeze.This plant established itself last year and took off this summer.I know it can be an opportunity in ag crops but I just love this weed.It has an extensive root system and the pod s ensure more will be on the way.I saw some cool butterflies stop to visit but no Monarchs.

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Easy does it here-field daisy,white weed,midsummer daisy,poverty weed-you call it and it’s yours.It is all over the place.Real fast:chrysanthemum leucanthemum L.-daisy-like flowers w/ white ray florets,native to Europe,perennial reproducing by seeds and rhizomes.Problematic in pastures and is a host for plant viruses.”He loves me,he loves me not,he loves me”

All pics by td-research from :Weeds of North America-Dickinson/Royer;Suburban Wildflowers-Heasdtrom;bellarmine.edu.

 

Three for Thursday…

This is going to be fast-so hold on…

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Common Milkweed-Asclepias syriaca L.-plants with milky juices;leaves opposite;flowers pale pink,in globe shaped clusters.While considered an invader in some circles and not good for livestock,it has been noted that we need more for our butterfly population.Namely the Monarch -which is milkweed butterfly.

 

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Field Bindweed-Convolvulus arvensis L.-stems twinning;leaves arrowhead-shaped;flowers funnel-shaped and white.Major opportunity here is that it can reduce yields in ag crops but a pretty weed!

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Chicory-cichorium intybus L.-also called blue sailors-flowers are blue-I have seen  white-in headlike clusters;plants with milky juice, and roast the roots for coffee.Cool story…It is seen as inspiration for the Romantic concept of the Blue flower-blue lookout by the wayside.

Research from “Weeds of North America” and Wikipedia-pics by td

Holding down the neighbor’s yard…

Just a lowly weed that shows up all over in the usual places:ditches,croplands,disturbed areas,neighbors yard.It is a summer annual growing 3′ tall and is very adaptable-shocker here!.The weed is called Yellow foxtail-Setaria pumila.Oh by the way-they moved out!

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pic by td-research from illinoiswildflowers.info.

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