On Page 1 mention was made of various types of weeds, including seemingly innocuous weeds that may be a lot more noxious than you thought. The first two mentioned below are noxious to your health, while the third can do damage to your trees.
Types of Weeds: Three Seemingly Innocuous Foes
Even the plant world has its scapegoats. The weed, goldenrod is commonly blamed for causing "hay fever." But goldenrod is merely a victim of circumstance: it just happens to bloom at the same time of year as the ragweeds. It is the latter that are truly responsible for the discomfort allergy sufferers feel every fall. Yet relatively few people can identify these inconspicuous plants. In many cases, those allergic to common ragweed pass it every day in the autumn, without giving it a second thought. For more information on common ragweed, please see the following resource:
Common ragweed has a big brother, named "giant ragweed." Giant ragweed may appear to be a gentle giant, but it is no more innocuous than is its little brother, common ragweed. For more information on giant ragweed, please see the following resource:
There are three plants named, "bittersweet." American bittersweet is harmless, but Oriental bittersweet can harm your trees. The third type of weed that goes by this name ("bittersweet nightshade") is highly poisonous. For more information on all three "bittersweet" vines, please see the following resource:
Types of Weeds: Six Beneficial Weeds
"Beneficial" types of weeds can merit such a classification based on various criteria, including the following:
- Ability to attract wildlife
- Medicinal uses
- Use in low-maintenance landscaping
Of course, as with anything else where there are "good guys" and "bad guys," there won't be universal agreement on my nominations for beneficial weeds. For instance, I'm sure that there are folks who see no redeeming value whatsoever in creeping charlie....
9. Sumac Shrubs
Because it is native to North America, sumac shrubs are often taken for granted here. Worse yet, they are often disparaged for being invasive. But sumac shrubs' foliage is truly one of the joys of autumn, and their seeds are an emergency food source for wild birds in winter. For more information on sumac shrubs, please see the following resource:
10. Creeping Charlie
Massed together, creeping charlie's blossoms are more attractive than those of some ground covers sold commercially. The plant also has medicinal uses and, when crushed, is quite fragrant. For more information on creeping charlie, please see the following resource:
I continue my discussion of beneficial types of weeds on Page 3, beginning with a couple that are convenient ground covers. If you're currently trying to eradicate these "weeds," you may wish to ask yourself, Why?