Here is a lavishly illustrated new book: WEEDS OF THE SOUTH. Published by the University of Georgia press, this looks like a highly reputable reference work. Which is deliciously ironic, because the subject matter is rather disreputable.
The English language has amazing names for weeds.
- Lesser Swinecress. What a name! Presumably pigs find it tasty. It’s a native of Europe.
- Daisy Fleabane. It’s native to North America.
- Annual Fringerush.
- Blessed Milkthistle.
- Henbit. Cute little purple flowers. Originated in Eurasia.
- Beaked Cornsalad, a North American member of the Valerian family.
- Purple Deadnettle. It’s a relative of henbit.
- Jimsonweed a.k.a. Purple Thornapple.
- Bitter Sneezeweed.
- Catchweed Bedstraw.
- Clammy Groundcherry. This belongs to the nightshade family, other members including Horsenettle, Silverleaf Nightshade, (ahem) Nipplefruit Nightshade, and Hairy Nightshade. Most of this family is prickly, toxic, or both.
- Nightflowering Catchfly.
- Morningglories – a pretty name for delightful plants (although my friend who grew up on a farm weeding these out of the corn field would disagree.) Well, well, well. Here is one called Cypressvine Morningglory. Mom used to have this in her front yard. She said it was called Cypress vine; it atttracted hummingbirds. I’m glad to know more about this nice little vine!
- Common Chickweed a.k.a. starwort and winterweed. It’s a native of Eurasia. Under Toxic Properties, the book says “None reported.” I certainly hope not – I’ve had this stuff in a salad.
- London Rocket a.k.a. London Hedgemustard. So that’s what the mystery weed in my front porch planter last year was!