I wanted to write a post about weeds, but thought “that’s dumb.” Then the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a two page article titled “Lovely trespassers on native territory.” So here goes.
When I think of Utah weeds, I think bind weed and myrtle spurge. Bind weed winds its way up and chokes any plant it touches; myrtle spurge is a beautiful chartreuse green in the spring and later a pretty blue/green. But it will take over if you don’t fight back, and has damaged the Salt Lake foothills.
Ohio has its weed problems as well, but as a kid I loved three common Ohio weeds: Goldenrod, Queen Anne’s Lace and Blue Weed.
In Utah, I actually paid for Goldenrod so I could plant it in my garden. I doubt that anyone in Ohio actually plants it, and if they do, they don’t pay for it because Goldenrod covers nearly every spare inch of Ohio roadside. My mom was allergic to Goldenrod but we alway brought her bouquets anyway.
Most Ohio kids have at some time put bunches of Queen Anne’s Lace in water with food coloring; the colored water is drawn up the stem and tinges the white blossoms. Queen Anne’s Lace, also called wild carrot, is a frilly, victorian-looking flower and I once brought a plant back to Utah. It didn’t make it, so I tossed the leftovers in my compost heap; its offspring sprout in my yard every year. You can’t keep Queen Anne’s Lace in a single spot, as I stupidly thought I could do, so I pull it. I don't want to create another myrtle-spurge-type problem.
Blue Weed has beautiful, pastel flowers that last a single day -- but those flowers are on long, rubbery stems that really whipped at my legs when I was a kid.
The Plain Dealer article said eight thousand of the of 250,000 plant species are considered weeds. A weed can be just a plant out of place, but they are classified as noxious if they damage the economy and local resources. The USDA web site
has Queen Anne’s Lace on Ohio’s noxious weed list. Both bind weed and spurge make the Utah list.