Milkweed is a “must have” for butterfly gardening, but the right milkweed plants are good for people, too. We’ll share answers to some of the most common questions about growing and using these beautiful native plants.
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. Today's featured plant is chicory, Chicorium intybus. The wild and domesticated varieties of chicory have a long history of use for food and medicine, and as a forage crop for livestock.
Chicory is prized for its long taproot, which is roasted and used as a coffee substitute or coffee additive. The roots are also high in inulin, which is used as a sweetener and prebiotic. The plant contains compounds such as flavonoids and coumarins that may help fight disease. [Read more…] about Chicory – Prebiotic, Coffee Substitute, Health Tonic – Weekly Weeder #5
Today's featured Weekly Weeder plant is common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia. In this post, we’ll explain what ragweed is, identify prime ragweed season, share some ragweed pictures, and talk about ragweed allergies and control.
Common ragweed is also known as ragweed, hayfever weed, bitterweed, bloodweed, crownweed, mayweed and bane of allergy sufferers everywhere. Some other common ragweed species include bur ragweed, giant ragweed and western ragweed.
[Read more…] about Common Ragweed – Tips to Beat Ragweed Season – Weekly Weeder #7
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series, where we help you identify wild plants and how to use them. Today's featured plant is Butter and eggs, Linaria vulgaris.
Butter and eggs is also know as yellow toadflax, wild snapdragon, flaxweed, bread and butter, false flax, brideweed, bridewort, Jacob's-ladder, rabbit flower, imprudent lawyer, pennywort and a host of other names.
The name “snapdragon” originates from the “popping” or “snapping” sound that is made when you squeeze the flower. According to Wildflowers of Wisconsin, the other common name, toadflax, is based on how the flower opens wide like a frog or toad's mouth when squeezed. (I wonder if the name “imprudent lawyer” is linked to that wide open mouth, too?)
A European import, it has now naturalized over most of North America, including inside my greenhouse. Though less commonly used than many other herbs, it does have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. [Read more…] about Butter and Eggs – Sweet Scented Bumblebee Magnet – Weekly Weeder #8
Today's featured weed is Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus Carota
Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) is a biennial and is also known as Wild Carrot, Bird's Nest Weed, Bee's Nest, Devils Plague, garden carrot, Bird's Nest Root, Lace Flower, Rantipole, Herbe a dinde and Yarkuki. In some states it is designated as a noxious weed. Known as 野胡萝卜 in china.
The World Carrot Museum states that the name “‘Herbe a dinde' derives from its use as a feed for young turkeys – dinde.” (Personally, I'd never heard of that name before. Maybe it's a UK thing?) The Woodrow Wilson Foundation Leadership Programs for Teachers cites the origin of the name as follows: “Queen Anne’s Lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England, an expert lace maker. When she pricked her finger with a needle, a single drop of blood fell into the lace, thus the dark purple floret in the center of the flower.”
[Read more…] about Queen Anne's Lace – Butterfly Host Plant and Blueberry Protector