We made a new video showing ten more common weeds, which after this post hopefully will also be more popular! Unfortunately the embedding did not work this time so please click on the link below:
A brief description of the weeds with pictures by my partner Matt Summers, unless stated differently, follow below this introduction. Most weeds have been covered in a more detailed post in earlier posts and then mostly about their whole family for which there is a link on the start of each plant description.
Weeds are not all bad; they are just inconvenient for us human beings.
Maybe we were just going to plant another more attractive plant in that place or maybe we desperately needed that exact spot for making a new drive for all our vehicles we need to park in front of our house? Or another more common reason is to just remove it as it looks aesthetically not pleasing to our tidy eyes!
Don’t worry I can just be as bad sometimes and not have a really proper reason for removing a weed…
But this is the exact reason why I write about them and try to make us see all their known good uses they got. All their bad reasons for existence are mentioned already on many websites and this is hopefully not why you came to my site in the first place?
Common Names: Couch Grass, twitch. Botanical Name: Elymus repens
Description: herbaceous perennial, rhizomatous grass in all soil types and open habitats.
Common Names: Herb bennet, wood avens. Botanical Name: Geum urbanum
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Distribution: Native to Europe and the Middle East. Introduced in North America.
Description: herbaceous perennial, in fertile soil and shady places such as wood edges and hedgerows.
Uses: Flowers are scented and pollinated by bees. The roots contain the compound eugenol which is also present in cloves and are used as a spice in soups and flavouring ale. Modern herbalists use it to treat diarrhoea, heart disease, halitosis and mouth ulcers, and to prevent colic.
Common Names: Common nettle, stinging nettle. Botanical Name: Urtica dioica
Family: Urticaceae (Nettle Family)
Distribution: Native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa. Now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America.
Uses: the larval food plant for several species of butterflies. For traditional medicine, food, soup, tea, beer, as alternative textile fibre and dye producing yellow from the roots, or yellowish green from the leaves. Makes an excellent compost or liquid fertilizer!
Common Names: Rosebay willowherb, fireweed. Botanical Name: Chamaenerion angustifolium Family: Onagraceae (Willowherb Family) Distribution: It is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests.
Description: Pioneer, herbaceous perennial with extensive spreading roots, pioneer species in open & disturbed soils.
Uses: The flowers are visited by a wide variety of insects, a food plant for larvae as well as for people, medicinal and ornamental, especially the white flowering form.
Common Names: Hedge bindweed, granny-pop-out-of-bed. Botanical Name: Calystegia sepium
Family: Convolvulaceae (Bindweed Family) Distribution: sub cosmopolitan distribution throughout the temperate Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Description: herbaceous climber, with extensive rhizomes. It thrives in fertile, damp soils, borders, roadsides and open woods.
Uses: Pollen for insects. Medicinal: The root is believed to increase the flow of bile. The bindweed stalks, young shoots and root are edible cooked, green parts steamed or boiled, roots boiled.
Common Names: Ground elder, herb gerard.
Botanical Name: Aegopodium podagria
Family: Apiaceae (Umbel Family)
Distribution: Native to Eurasia, introduced into most of the world and into Great Britain by the Romans. Description: herbaceous perennial, rhizomatous in most fertile, damp soil habitats, also in shade.
Common Names: Japanese knotweed Botanical Name: Reynoutria japonica
Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed and Buckwheat Family) Distribution: Native to East Asia in Japan, China and Korea. In North America and Europe, introduced and established in many habitats & countries.
Description: herbaceous perennial, with extensive rhizome system. All disturbed soils.
Common Names: Hairy bittercress Botanical Name: Cardamine hirsuta
Family: Brassicaceae (Cabbage or Crucifer Family) Distribution: Native to Eurasia and introduced in many countries across the world.
Description: Annual or biennial herb in damp, recently disturbed soil, open ground, turf and waste places.
Uses: The tiny flowers are attractive to a few early butterflies. It is edible, slightly peppery and can be added to salad.
Common Names: Bracken Botanical Name: Pteridium aquilinum
Family: Dennstaedtiaceae (Fern Family) Distribution: temperate and subtropical regions in both hemispheres. Now world wide spread.
Description: herbaceous perennial, rhizomatous fern in open woodland and sandy pastures as well as disturbed habitats.
Uses: Bracken is a widely eaten vegetable in Korea, Japan and parts of China. In organic farming; as animal bedding, high nitrogen + potassium fertiliser; weed control; mulch; insect repellent; anti-fungal agent; bio fuel.
Common Names: Green alkanet, evergreen bugloss Botanical Name: Pentaglottis sempervirens Family: Boraginaceae (Borage Family) Distribution: native to Western Europe, introduced in Great Britain.
Description: herbaceous perennial with thick taproot in damp hedgerows, road verges and gardens.
Uses: Food plant for bees, edible flowers like use of Borage flowers, leaves in Agro forestry systems (nutrient accumulators) for mulch & soil improver.