March 28 is National Weed Appreciation Day.
What is a weed?
A definition: a plant that is not desired where it is growing.
A perspective: “A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most folks view this common plant as a weed:
Truth to be told, that was probably the first “wild flower” most of us observed as a child. My mother was not likely the first to receive a bouquet of these on Mother’s Day from a grubby-handed tyke!
There is a substantial amount of curious information associated with Common Dandelion. Here are a few examples:
Dandelion flowers are photosensitive, which means they bloom during daylight and close in the evening or in gloomy conditions.
Folklore: Some believe that brewing a strong roasted dandelion tea helps promote one’s own psychic powers.
Edible uses: Dandelion leaves can be added to a salad or cooked. Flowers can be made into a jelly. The root can be made into a coffee substitute.
Medicinal uses: The latex-containing sap is a styptic and combats acne, boils, diabetes, eczema and warts.
Wildlife value: Flowers provide nectar and pollen to honeybees and other beneficial insects, particularly important in early spring when they are one of the relatively few plants in bloom.
Interestingly, there are a number of species of wildflowers whose common name contains the word “weed.” Such as –
Regardless of whether or not you feel that the word “weed” is pejorative when referencing a certain plant, I’m content to know each as simply another species of wildflower.