Beautiful Wildflower or Troublesome Weed?

Updated: Oct 14



In our gardens, as is in our lives, the decision of beautiful wildflower or troublesome weed depends on the gardener's desires. Some gardeners find value in what others call a weed. It is important to decide quickly and act early if a weed needs to be removed. Below is a table gathered from Common Garden Weed Identification: Pictures & Descriptions | The Old Farmer's Almanac to help make decisions about common North American weeds.

Picture

Type

Period

Risk

Poisonous?

Remove

Dandelion



Troublesome

Spring

Challenge to remove as they have very long tap roots.

No, you can eat the leaves and the flower. Some fry the flowers and even use it to make wine.

Weed when the plant is young by loosening the soil around the very deep tap root.

Bindweed



Noxious

Spring

Fast growing through the roots of other plants.

YES, all parts of the bindweed are poisonous.

Carefully hand pull or fork before plant's flowering. Each part of the root left behind will grow into another plant.

Canada Thistle



Noxious

Spring

Reduces foraging areas in a pasture.

No, remove all bristles and spines before consuming.

Pull or hoe early as the root system can grow 6 to 15 feet deep and up to 15 feet wide.

Crabgrass



Troublesome

Spring to First Frost

Can grow up to 2 feet tall. Seeds last on the ground for 3 years.

No

Weed early and keep grass trimmed at 2-4 inches.

Purslane



Troublesome

Spring to First Frost

Produces 2,000,000 seeds. Able to regrow from leaves left behind.

No, eat when it is young. This plant is packed with vitamins.

Weed early and destroy every part of the plant as every part can grow more plants.

Pigweed



Troublesome

Spring and Summer

Competes with other plants for water and sunlight.

No, eat leaves raw in a salad or cooked.

Pull out by root before flowering.

Buckhorn Plantain



Noxious

Spring and Summer

Drought tolerant and low growing reducing forage areas.

No, can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

Pull when young and ensure to pull the full and long tap root.

Indian Mallow



Troublesome

Spring and Summer

Reduces foraging areas in a pasture and prevents grass growth.

No, the flowers can be eaten raw or cooked and become sweeter as they mature.

Weed early and destroy every part of the plant as every part can grow more plants.

Lambsquarters Weed



Troublesome

Summer

Fast growing leaves become large, blocking sun for other plants. The plant spreads quickly and removes water from the soil just as fast.

No, eat the leaves and shoots. This plant is packed with nutrients.

Cultivate with a sharp hoe.

Chickweed



Troublesome

Winter

One plant can produce 800 seeds that take more than 8 years remove.

No, you can eat it raw or cooked like spinach.

Weed early before the flowers bloom.

The key to deciding how your garden, field, or acreage will grow is dependent on being educated. Know what you have. Know what you want. And be willing to remove anything that is causing your success to be at risk. You decide if you have a beautiful wildflower (contributing to your success) or if you have a troublesome weed (that needs to be removed).


#wildflowers #weeds #gardening #passture #acreage

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