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Why Are Some Plants Called Weeds

That plant is a weed. This may sound like two minutes with Andy Rooney but I just don't agree with this term. If a plant looks pretty and it has some quality that makes it useful, then why is it a weed. What is a weed? The chicory plant has a pretty little flower and some people use it to make tea. Isn't the bright yellow flower of the dandelion similar to a marigold or some little yellow daisy? You can make wine from dandelions.

That's good isn't it. what is grass. It just lays all over the place and looks plain old green. I guess cows can eat it. I don't think it's a weed but I think it acts like a weed. Grass tries to overpower everything else.

If Creeping Charlie tries to do that, we call him a weed. Do weeds have some exclusive property that we can use to define them from other plants? Are those other plants just "plants" or should we call them "non weeds"? When my wife "weeds" the flower garden, she will constantly ask "is this a weed?" Does it really matter? My response is always the same. "If you like it - leave it there. If you don't like it, pull it out." Milkweed - wow, poor plant got it right in the name. This plant with the fun little seedpod is home to the much admired Monarch Butterfly.

The monarch needs this plant to survive. Children love to open the mature seed pod and blow the little parachutes all over the place. We are intent on eradicating it because it is a "weed". I don't know what makes it a weed. There are some plants that I guess we would all can safely be called a weed. Poison Ivy comes to mind first.

I can't see anything good about this plant. This one can go away forever as far as I am concerned. A couple of god doses of this plant have it on "My weed list".

There are some very interesting names for weeds. The mouse eared chickweed. Does this really sound like a weed" It sounds like something we should see on the farm.

Another similar name is "lamb's quarters". It belongs to the "goosefoot family" It just does not sound like a weed. More farm type plants - try "field horsetail" and "wild oats".

Sounds like they should do well together. Don't forget the "european frogbit" Now you really must wonder about that name. I like the masses of purple loosestrife I see growing in ditch banks but I guess it is a monster in disguise. It gets out of control and chokes out everything.

Maybe that makes it a weed. I guess St John's Wort and Cypress Spurge don't sound that good to me. Maybe I will add them to my weed list. Now this one really makes me wonder. I looked up Common weeds of northern United states and Canada. Where is the thistle.

That mean bristly plant wasn't to be found in the list of weeds. It must be a good plant I guess but I can't imagine why. I want to talk to the guy that made that list of weeds. I just don't think he has it right! I think I'm going to call Andy Rooney and see what he thinks of this whole weed deal.

I bet he could provide a very interesting response.

Tom Henricks is now retired and enjoys working at gardening, fishing, hunting and writing. He maintains a few small websites. Articles such as this can be viewed at one of his websites All About Plants


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