puntachueca 105M
2534 posts
8/16/2006 12:12 am

Last Read:
8/19/2006 6:24 am


This summer has seen abundant rains in my part of the world. We’ve gotten the equivalent of a year’s worth of rain in 6 weeks.

The countryside has totally transformed. Instead of looking like a brown, dusty desert, the whole place has turned green. The mountainsides are covered with flowers.

My lot is covered with weeds.

Actually, it is covered with a lot of different plants.

Some of them I’ve never seen before. Maybe they only sprout in the rare years when there is this much rain. I’m not sure what they are, so I’ve let them grow in part of the yard just to see what they do.

There are wild sunflowers. These plants are approaching 8 feet now.

There are, of course, tumbleweeds. Imported exotic plant someone thought would be cool to have in the west. Turned out they were a nuisance.

There is of course the ubiquitous ragweed. I have ragweed plants pushing 7 feet now. I call them rag woods because they’re turning into trees.

The rag woods are also a nuisance. I am deathly allergic to them, so they must go.

Chopping away at the rag wood forest, I got to wondering...why are some plants considered "weeds" and others beneficial? What is a "weed"?

The dictionary defines a "weed" as "a valueless, troublesome, or noxious plant growing wild, especially one that grows profusely or on cultivated ground to the exclusion of injury of the desired crop."

Ragweed is also known as something else...ambrosia.

The cowboys noted that weeds are like people...some are like wildflowers and some are like tumbleweeds and some are just downright obnoxious.

angelofmercy5 59F
17881 posts
8/16/2006 12:16 am

I know what you mean! And maybe if we could just appreciate "weeds"....we'd spend less time chopping and pulling them out of our yards! lol

puntachueca replies on 8/16/2006 12:28 am:
I am actually quite proud of my weed patch. Fortunatetly my neighbors are not particularly diligent about maintaining their yards, and there is no homeowner's association to cite me for failure to maintain my lawn.
I think I may have a Guiness Book of records rag wood growing so I'm saving that one just to see how big it really gets.

tracy_de_lacy 105F
9268 posts
8/16/2006 1:42 am

some weeds are beautiful but they just spread so fast. If we could learn to cntain them they would look nice. I love meadows with wild flowers, especially wild poppies.

Bye everyone, it was a blast

puntachueca replies on 8/16/2006 2:44 pm:
We get a lot of wild poppies in the Spring here if the winter rains were good...which is about once in 10 years.

This summ,er we've got all kinds of stuff blooming, half of which no one has seen in this lifetime.

shylena256 42F
1967 posts
8/16/2006 1:59 am

Ummm... I definitely appreciate the weed! (Did that come out right?)
One man's trash is another man's treasure. The Lil Blue Bunny Ears that my mom was pulling out in Arizona go for like 4 bucks a plant in Europe... on sale.

puntachueca replies on 8/19/2006 6:25 am:
Makes me think my future may be harvesting the yard and selling the product...actually had some folks pick some of the flowers for herbal medicinal tea....

(What the fuck is this shit..?? *rolls eyes*)

8/16/2006 8:17 am

The definition of a weed is just an unwanted plant...So what was once a beautiful flower to us Natives is now nothing more than a weed to the want-to-bes...Ready


puntachueca replies on 8/17/2006 6:45 am:
You are absolutely right!!!

A friend of mine..Gary Nabham..has dedicated his life to "rediscovering" the value native people have in plants. Also, another friend is an "ethnobotanist"..David Yetman..who does the same thing and also a PBS show "The Desert Speaks".

We still have curanderas around here...herbalists...

I believe very strongly that there are many many things we have lost in knowledge that we need to gain back....a lot of the "weeds" are actually wonderful medicinal plants whose effectiveness (along with spirit work) are much healthier than "modern" medicine.

I have actually had people come into the yard where I used to live to harvest leaves and flowers for use in healing.

This is why I let the wild things grow...even if the neighbors think I'm a sloppy gardener...because there's lots of birds ansd butterflies that need the flowers to survive...

PrincessKarma 43F
6188 posts
8/16/2006 9:21 am

A weed is a plant whose usefulness has not yet been discovered.

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

puntachueca replies on 8/17/2006 6:47 am:
Agreed..or as readytolay observed...a plant whose value has been lost because us "modern" people disregard the native knowledge.

amoldenough 70F
16436 posts
8/16/2006 9:50 am

Your cowboys are so wise! Some weeds are beautiful. Queen Annes Lace, Goldenrod, Indian Paint Brush,just to name some of my favorites.

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."

puntachueca replies on 8/17/2006 6:48 am:
What is amazing is some of this stuff only grows like once every 10 years...and sometimes only once in 100 years. The seeds lie dormant until things are just right.

demonicsexkitten 41F
10671 posts
8/16/2006 12:31 pm

Indian Paint Brush is a weed???? huh?

How it was described to me: a weed is a flower that grows easily where you don't want it. If dandelions were hard to grow: everybody would want them.

When i get my own home someday... I'm going to plant so there's lots of soft greenery, and lots of "native" medicinal plants, and of course a rose-garden. and ... i think i'll try staying away from grass. no mowing. just watering. but maybe i'm dilusional.

puntachueca replies on 8/17/2006 6:49 am:
No...you'd fit in around here. There's been a whole movement away from grass and back to native plants.

RevJoseyWales 69M/66F
14393 posts
8/16/2006 4:07 pm

So weed is not a weed after all? OK, that's one less term I can use for it. Joe

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."

puntachueca replies on 8/17/2006 6:50 am:
Basaically there is no such thing as a weed. Just a plant whose value is unrecognized.

RevJoseyWales 69M/66F
14393 posts
8/17/2006 5:37 pm


"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."

puntachueca replies on 8/18/2006 2:13 am:
And then there's "weeeed" says Cheech

amoldenough 70F
16436 posts
8/18/2006 1:55 pm

Indian paintbrush, is, I guess, actually a wildflower, not a weed. I get a few of them in my backyard every summer. They are beautiful little flowers.

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."

puntachueca replies on 8/19/2006 6:26 am:
What is amazing is the stuff that seems only to grow once in 50 or 100 years...no one knows what they are...looking at plant books trying to get an id.

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