|Friday Five: Favorite Roadside Weeds|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 08 June 2012|
Yes, many roadside weeds are of European origin and considered exotics and sometimes labeled invasive, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy their beauty and pick bunches of them for bouquets, does it?
1. Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) or wild carrot is a biennial that grows 3 to 4 feet tall with beautiful white lacy looking flower. The flowerhead is called an umbel and is composed of tiny florets, except for a single one in the center of the flower that is dark purple and is sterile. Queen Anne's Lace grows in dry fields and roadsides, flowering throughout the summer months. Poison Hemlock is sometimes mistaken for Queen Anne's Lace because of its similar appearance.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus), is sometimes called blue or ragged sailors, and is another prolific roadside flower. Chicory is a perennial with a deep taproot that is used as a caffeine substitute.
3. Common Mullein
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial that grows from 2 to 8 feet tall. It has yellow flowers that bloom mid to late summer and fuzzy, grayish-green leaves that are either prickly or soft depending on which way you feel them and can cause an allergic reaction on the skin turning it red. Quaker women, who were forbidden to use make-up, rubbed the leaves on their cheeks to make them pink.
4. Oxeye Daisy
Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare synonymous with Chrysanthemum leucanthemum), is a member of the Aster family. Flowering throughout the summer, oxeye daisy is a familiar sight in fields and roadsides and is what most people think of when they picture daisies. It grows in every state in the US in fields and roadsides. In some locations it is considered a noxious weed.
5. Pink Clover
Pink or Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a member of the pea family with large pink flowerheads and a typical clover leaf, but with white markings on it. It grows in fields along highways and in waste places and disturbed soils such as along railroad tracks. The flowerhead contains phytoestrogens (weak estrogenic compounds), the extracts of which have been used to treat menopausal symptoms.
Weed or Flower