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Lessons from Weeds A close look at non-native opportunistic plants.

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Presentation on theme: "Lessons from Weeds A close look at non-native opportunistic plants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lessons from Weeds A close look at non-native opportunistic plants

2 “Why do people want to kill plants that want to grow and grow plants that want to die?”

3 Weeds?  Non-natives  Hard working & opportunistic  Indicators of soil or environmental conditions  pH, N – P – K, water, compaction

4 Pros and Cons?  Negative contributions  Positive contributions

5 Contributions of hard working plants  Reduce soil erosion  Mitigate soil compaction  Improve soil (N fixing, biodynamic accumulation)  Food source and habitat for beneficial insects  Potential source of food and medicine  Indicator of soil conditions

6 Classification review  Broadleaf (dicots)  Grasses (monocots)  “control”  Cultural (change the environment)  Physical (get down there and pull)  Biological (invasivores?)  Chemical (the last resort)

7 Being an “invasivore”  Positive identification  Understanding of growing conditions  Free access  Ethical foraging (rule of 3)

8 Chickweed - Broadleaf INDICATORS: - High N - If stunted, low P, moisture LIKELY SITES: - Shady - Fertilized CONTRIBUTION: - Food - Medicine B, P Stellaria media

9 Sow Thistle - Asteraceae INDICATORS: - High N - neutral pH LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed - Fertilized CONTRIBUTION: - Food, forage Sonchus asper

10 Dandelion - Asteraceae INDICATORS: - Moisture - Acidic soil LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed - Fertilized CONTRIBUTION: Food, Medicine, Insectiary Taraxacum officinale

11 Poison Hemlock - Apiaceae INDICATORS: - Herbicide application LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed - Fertilized CONTRIBUTION: Insectiary, Poison Conium maculatum

12 Groundsel - Asteraceae INDICATORS: - High fertility LIKELY SITES: - Cultivated CONTRIBUTION: Medicinal, wildlife food and habitat. 1 plant = 25,000+ seeds Mechanical Senecio vulgaris

13 Nutsedge, Tigernut - Cyperaeceae - Grass (monocot) INDICATORS: - Wet soil, poor drainage - acid pH LIKELY SITES: - Overwatered - Neglected CONTRIBUTION: Nutritional tuber, medicinal, oil, cosmetics Deep fragile roots Cyperus esculentus

14 Mallow, Cheeseweed - Malvaceae INDICATORS: - Deep N - Disturbed soil LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed - Neglected CONTRIBUTION: - Food - Medicine P, B Malva parviflora

15 Nettle, Annual nettle, Small nettle - Urticaceae INDICATORS: - Deep NPK LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed CONTRIBUTION: Insectiary, Biodynamic accumulator Medicine, Food Urtica urens

16 Pellitory of the Wall - Urticaceae INDICATORS: - Heavy metals? LIKELY SITES: - Neglected - the Wall CONTRIBUTION: Medicinal Parietaria officinalis

17 Purslane, Verdolaga -Portulacaceae INDICATORS: Deep moisture and soil nutrients. LIKELY SITES: - Compacted, - Cultivated sites CONTRIBUTION: Food (linoleic acid), medicinal, companion plant Portulaca oleracea

18 Getting a handle on BROOM Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) French broom (Genista monspessulana) Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) Portuguese broom (Cytisus striatus) Stems : 5-sided; star-shaped cross section Leaves : compound, 3 leaflets, deciduous, sometimes single on new twigs Stems : 8 to 10 ridges; round cross section Leaves : compound, 3 leaflets, evergreen, usually dense Stems : smooth or finely ribbed; round cross section Leaves : simple, deciduous, sparse Stems : 8 to 10 ridges; round cross section Leaves : compound, 3 leaflets, deciduous, sometimes single on new twigs Flowers at leaf axils Flowers at branch tips Flowers at leaf axils

19 Cytisus Scoparius SCOTCH BROOM

20 French Broom - Fabaceae INDICATORS: - Low N LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed - Eroded CONTRIBUTION: - Forage, dye - Prevents erosion Mechanical. Seeds viable for 30+ yrs Genista monspessulana

21 Sourgrass, Bermuda buttercup - Broadleaf INDICATORS: - High N - neutral pH LIKELY SITES: - Disturbed - Available CONTRIBUTION: - Food - Prevents erosion Oxalis pes caprae

22 Fred Bové Gardenswithbenefits.com


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