Thursday, July 10, 2008

Name those weeds.

My definition of a weed is simple: anything that Jethro won't eat. He has conservative tastes so he eschews a lot of things I thought would make good donkey chow. Like thistles. I thought donkeys were supposed to like thistles, but no. Click on any picture for a larger view. Can you help? Updated with answers in bold, thanks everybody!.

Number One. This one here is one of my most hated weeds, because its leaves hug the ground so closely it escapes my weedwhacker. The leaves and stem are kind of fuzzy and a little bit sticky. Hairy Elephant's Foot (Elephantopus tomentosus) also known as Devil's Grandmother or Tobaccoweed.

Number Two. This one is a vine. It gets longer and bigger and longer and bigger. What is it? Trumpet creeper, campsis radicans

Number Three. I've made some progress against this one, I hated it before Jethro ever moved in because it's prickly. It has a sort of pretty purple and yellow flower but it's gotta go. Its leaves and stem are hairy. Carolina horsenettle, Solanum carolinense, aka Bull nettle, Apple of Sodom, Radical Weed, Sand Brier, Tread-softly, Wild tomato, Devil's tomato. Perennial. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Number Four. This one is a relative newcomer, or maybe its huge success this year has forced me to notice it. It doesn't grow in Jethro's field but it has overwhelmed my slate walkway. Glechoma hederacea, aka Gill Over the Ground, Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy. A perennial weed in the mint family

Number Five. This one is low now, but soon it will shoot up on feeble, thin stalks and choke out the whole world. It prefers shady, damp spots but will grow anywhere. I would hate it more, but it's so easy to pull out, its roots are so feeble too, it makes me feel powerful. Also, Jethro will eat it. Japanese Stiltgrass, microstegium

Number Six. This one stands tall on stiff stalks. I thought Jethro would eat it, but no. Sericea lespedeza.

Number Seven. There are tons of these and they get quite tall. They seem completely purposeless. Ragweed.

Number Eight. Last year the extension agent identified this, an annoyingly prolific member of the pasture family, as Stickweed, aka Yellow Crownbeard (Verbesina occidentalis). The stems have vertical "wings."

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At 9:32 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Number 5 might be Smartweed. Number 7 looks like Ragweed, known for its pollen later in the season. One can Google Images either of these. My dreaded weeds list has a more northern (Mass.) flavor, so most of yours are not familiar. I can relate, though, having spent much of yesterday weeding. Dan

At 10:42 PM, Blogger sweetflag said...

ok, number one i cant be sure of for the pictures.
2 = trumpet creeper
3= a solanaceae family plant. horse nettle
4= ground ivy; gill over the ground
5= microstegium; nimberwill
6= looks kind of like lespideza or cleavers, but i cant tell. they are VERY different.
7= common ragweed


At 9:39 PM, Blogger Steve Emery said...

I can get you number one once it blooms in our yard. I've looked it up once before, but I forgot the bloom shape, and that's the key to looking it up.

And I can confirm most of your other IDs as correct. We have nearly all of these, too. The Japanese Stilt grass was one I was glad to get the name of. It's our main plague here.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger fillyjonk said...

A couple of other thoughts...

I'm surprised I didn't recognize the sericea lespedeza from the photo as it's one of my study organisms. Where I like (Oklahoma) it's considered a noxious weed, as it is in Missouri and Kansas. It was brought in for forage but most grazers dislike it because it gets tough, and it's high in tannins (which apparently causes stomach upset, or at least in ruminants it does). No wonder Jethro won't eat it; he's a smart donkey. (The only thing I know of that does is goats, but then goats will eat most anything).

As for the trumpet creeper, if you plan on removing it, I'd recommend using gloves. A very small percentage of the population (something like 5% or less) gets contact dermatitis from it. I am one of them, and for my money the rash I got was worse than the rash I get from poison ivy, and it lasted longer. (the alternate name of the thing is cow itch. A lot of sites claim it's a misnomer and it doesn't cause contact dermatitis, but those folks just must not be in the sensitive group).

I'm not 100% convinced #7 is ragweed (though I find it devilishly hard to identify these from photographs..I'm so used to being able to pluck up the plant and feel it all over for hair, and examine it). If it flowers and makes tiny inconspicuous flowers, it's ragweed. But it also looks like something I have infesting my garden that is some sort of wild marigold. (it has cute yellow daisy-like flowers but then makes painfully-barbed seeds). If you leave it a few more months it'll flower and you'll know for sure.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous susanlynn said...

Some of them looked kind of pretty !!!

At 8:32 PM, Blogger michangelo said...

I have been taken over by Jap. Stiltgrass and was wondering if goats will eat this invasive species. Very interesting how this got here. Was a packing material for imported Japanese porcelin in the 1950's and 60's. It began in the eastern US and has gradually moved west.I cannot get the state or county or local University to get excited about eradication methods.


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