What is a weed?

Jewelweed or impatiens capensisJewelweed or impatiens capensis

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Or in other words, a weed is a plant we haven’t found a use for yet. Many wildflowers even include the word weed in their common names. And while humans may not have found a use for these plants, birds, bees, butterflies and the like depend on these “weeds” for survival. Insect experts suggest planting Joe Pye weed, milkweed and other native plants to help out the bees and the butterflies. Jewelweed reportedly has some medicinal properties and is sometimes used in soaps and salves. Dandelions are edible and the list goes on. So think twice before grabbing the weed killer and let the native insects and birds enjoy the plants mother nature has provided for them.

joepye

Joe Pye weed is a butterfly magnet

 

mullen

Honeybees gather around a common mullein plant.

 

dragonweed

A meadowhawk dragonfly rests on a jewelweed plant.

 

pondleaves

A few colored leaves are seen at a Pinegrove Township pond.

 

bird

A hummingbird visits a trumpet vine plant with the evening sky in the background.

 

Crazy Critters

 

splad

Buford splashes in the pond.

 

(Anna Applegate is a newsroom staffer at The Derrick and The News-Herald. She manages the Good Times. She can be emailed at bigdogs.thederrick@gmail.com)