Weeds or Flowers?

Brown Knapweed (probably sp.) - native to Europe

Being the buggy person that I am, I have a hard time calling anything with an inflorescence a weed. If it’s got a flower on it that attracts or is beneficial to insects, there is a good chance it’s staying in my garden. In addition, I have a soft spot for flowers, I think they are beautiful and I’m one to appreciate all the forms that flowers can take on.

Hawkweed (unknown species)- native to Europe

I took a quick walk around campus the other day at lunch, cell phone in hand to document some of the ‘weeds’ that we have been trying to encourage the grounds crew to leave be. And it’s been working! Each little patch of open space seems to sprout a diversity of plants. Some even survive the best they can when being mowed down weekly. Notice that all of the species depicted here are native to Europe. I guess I’ll have to try harder for native species.

Queen Anne's Lace- native to Europe

The amazing thing about flowers is that you can look at them and make a guess as to what the pollinator is. The way the flowers themselves are formed gives a hint as to what type of insect will pollinate it and then the flower can make seeds to grow even more flowers next year. Keep an eye on the shape of the petals, color of the flowers, and if you go out on your own, the smell.

Birdfoot Trefoil- native to Europe

Make a guess as to who you think will pollinate the flowers in this blog. I’m going to try to get out later this week and spend some time taking pictures of the pollinators as an answer key! And remember, they’re only weeds if you don’t want them.

Selfheal- native to Europe

If you want some more information on the wildflowers of Connecticut and can’t afford to go out and buy a field guide.  The website for the Connecticut Botanical Society is a great resource for wildflower infromation and identification.  In addition they have information on gardening with native plants!!

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