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I think these guys are weeds...

Posted by katisu 5 Indy (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 21:50

...or at the very least shouldn't be growing in the flowerbed. Would I be correct in this assumption? I don't trust my own judgment anymore.

Part shade, Zone 5, Indianapolis

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I think these guys are weeds...

Plant #2

RE: I think these guys are weeds...


That's all. Sorry for putting 3.

RE: I think these guys are weeds...

#3 looks like Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia ... except that the leaves look too large. But then, there's nothing in the photo for scale, and V. sororia leaves will grow quite large in very shady conditions.

Whether you regard it as a weed or an inexpensive and nearly-indestructable groundcover is up to you. I have V. sororia and its cousins/hybrids in all colors from white to white-with-purple to blue to purple to darkest purple to red-purple (most of their ancestors I discovered in the lower pasture: one of the best surprises on this property). Despite the brevity of their flowering season, the violets have a couple of shady beds mostly to themselves, and are welcome to pop up in my lawn as well ... though this may not be a common attitude on GW!

[You have some English ivy crawling around underneath the violets: I'd consider that a weed, without question.]

This post was edited by missingtheobvious on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 22:57

RE: I think these guys are weeds...

Number 1 looks like Lonicera maackii, Amur Honeysuckle, which is a very weedy shrub in the midwest. It definitely shouldn't be growing in the flower bed;

The second picture might be Brizia maxima, Quaking Grass. That's actually an ornamental grass, as far as I know, so it was probably planted on purpose.

I agree that the last one is violet. Pretty little flowers in the spring, a weed the rest of the time in the lawn or the garden, anyway. Out in the woods it gets to be a wild flower...


RE: I think these guys are weeds...

Thank you both so much!

I have removed so much of that Amur Honeysuckle already! But wanted to double-check since I had some others to post.

It never even occurred to me that the Quaking Grass was ornamental. I've seen it before, and I feel like it was in my aunt's field behind her pond when I was a young kid. So I just assumed (and my assumptions tend to be pretty inaccurate) that it was a weed.

Violets I like! I think that's the only area where I see them, but I've got a LOT of weeding to do still, so I may uncover some more plants. The overall theme to my garden seems to be a mixture of wildflowers and what I'm seeing on "fine gardening" websites. I'm not really sure if that's a theme at all, really! But I guess I'll try to stick to it, since it's pretty well-established. And created by someone who knew much more about this than I do :)

RE: I think these guys are weeds...

OK, that made me curious and I looked it up. According to Gleason's 'Manual of Vascular Plants' Quaking Grass, Briza maxima (looks like I mis-spelled the genus name) is "Native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated and rarely escaped in our range." So it doesn't sound like a weed. Maybe your aunt just had a healthy stand of it.

Sounds like you've got a nice garden.


RE: I think these guys are weeds...

why are they all guys????

the word weed.. has many definitions .... such as ... anything not where you want it ... things that grow too fast/aggressively [as in grows like a weed] .... and things that reproduce too fast ...

so when you ask.. simply.. is this a weed ... its hard to give you a specific answer ...

if a grass ... plants itself ... via wind or bird... into a garden bed ... most of us would call it a weed ... its in that potential to procreate.. where it becomes a weed... IMHO ...

many of the ornamental grasses ... are sterile ... or do not seed aggressively .. [at least in my MI ... and keep in mind.. my experience is thus limited] ... and this is what makes them valuable plants ... [my winter may limit seed viability ]

my experience has been.. that there arent many things.. found free in the yard... that are valuable ...

sooo .. to sum it all up ... a free seeded grass ... would most likely be a weed .. in my garden ...

all that said... isolate it ... watch it.. and then make your own determination in a year or two ... that is how you learn ... but dont keep it.. simply because someone else.. said it has value .... it may.. or it may not .... in your garden ...

continued luck on your project ...


RE: I think these guys are weeds...

# 2 is Northern Sea Oats - Chasmanthium latifolium, a native that self-sows freely. Watch out. Or you will have a sea of Northern Sea Oats in no time. That is why your aunt had a large stand of it in her field.

It is not Quaking Grass - Briza maxima or Briza media that looks much different and not that easy to grow from seeds.

RE: I think these guys are weeds...

Again, thank you all! Everything you've said is so helpful.

I suppose that when I say "weed", I usually mean something that isn't particularly attractive at any point and will also overtake my other plants. I haven't figured out what that means quite yet, myself!

Pitimpinai, I think you are right on the money with the Northern Sea Oats. Those look identical to what I've got growing.

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