Weeds are just hardy plants struggling to survive….trying to overcome the obstacles of being ugly, annoying, unwanted, and unloveable for some human deemed reason or another.  Right?

what is this plant? a weed?

I can’t help but be a champion of the underdog, so I am coddling these two weedy babies.   Even though I have no idea what they are, I think they are kinda pretty, elegant in fact….so I have decided to adopt them and give them a place of permanence in my garden home.

what is this plant?  is it a weed?

(this one smells so nice ~ kind of clover-y)

I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into one of those adoption horror stories where eventually I will have to abandon them on a plane bound for Russia.

But in the mean time, can you help me name them?  I like traditional names….Latin is particularly nice.


13 Responses to Elegant Weeds

  1. I think the first one is narrow leaf plantain. If not someone let me know. It grows around here and I have often thought it was pretty,

    No idea on the second.

  2. The top one is definitely a plantain, looks like English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata). The second one I am not so sure about…looks a little like nettles but those flowers aren’t familiar to me. I’ll be peeking in to see if someone else knows!

  3. Yes, the second one is definitely garlic mustard. I just spent hours pulling it out of my garden, you have to get rid of it soon or it will take over. One plant will produce a hundred seeds and soon that is all you will have! It pulls out pretty easily, root and all, after a few rainy days. Good luck!

  4. The only good thing about garlic mustard is that you can eat it to destroy it. But yes, YOU MUST DESTROY IT! It tastes good with olive oil and lemon.

  5. ok — garlic mustard gone….uneaten, but if I see more I will definitely try it out for dinner! So the plantain is ok? It’s not going to try and take over? I really like it so I hope it isn’t secretly evil.
    Thanks guys for the help!

  6. Allaria petiolaris – Garlic Mustard. Very invasive, much hated, frequently pulled (Minnesota Invasive Species Network measures how much they pull in the tens of thousands of pounds).

  7. Just pulled lots of garlic mustard this morning…I didn’t have a problem last year! I was so happy it was easy to pull out!

  8. Even with pulling the garlic mustard will continue to set seed so its impt to bag it and let it completely expire,before disposing. Invasive because it out competes everything else and ridiculously vigorous. I let all kinds of grasses and goldenrod, aster and blackeyed susans seed around every year. Its interesting to watch the polite weeds travel around the yard, just make sure you can get rid of them when you want to.

  9. I second Heather, the first one looks like Plantago lanceolata or possibly Plantago major. Definitely a Eurasian weed, but a pretty one.

  10. Plantago lanceolata is my guess, too. The plantagos are non-natives, but they’ve been around for a long time, and they don’t seem to be too aggressive. If you ever cut yourself on a hiking trip, the leaves are supposedly good for wounds and bug bites.

  11. The plantain has pretty much already invaded. It came over with European settlers ages ago. It isn’t going to take over like they described with the garlic mustard, but it pretty much grows everywhere. Well at least in Western North Carolina. It especially seems to love gravel driveways; both the pointed and round leaf.

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