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Attractive Weeds for the Yard or Garden

Even troublesome plants are often quite fetching. For instance, poison ivy and poison sumac are lovely. These are worse than weeds and aren’t something most people would think of growing in their yards to add beauty. The point is that the plants that aren’t wanted can still be appreciated for their beauty. This includes many regular weeds that can be viewed with pleasure without causing the problems poison ivy and sumac can.

Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Bindweed, also known as wild morning glory, is a European native that made its way to the US. It is a climbing plant that often grows well near fences. The medium green leaves are somewhat arrowhead shaped. The plant is invasive and once established, is incredibly difficult to irradicate. It is the smallish tube or trumpet-shaped pink to white flowers that add most of the beauty, though. Since the plant climbs readily, the blooms add color to the yard, especially along borders. If the plants don’t have support, they will grow close to the ground and over it, forming a ground cover. While this is an invasive weed that can spread, it is worthy of consideration for growing along fence rows.

Wild mustard (Brassica kaber)

This is a plant that is also widely distributed. Wild mustard has clusters of small yellow flowers that are quite pretty. At the same time, the medium to dark green leaves are edible as a pot herb and contrast nicely with the yellow flowers. The flowers also look great when they grow next to the blue, white and red blossoms of other plants.

Buttercup (Ranunculus genus)

With many hundreds of species in the genus, buttercups have an enormous range and one species or another will grow almost anywhere. These plants tend to be low growing and bloom with a yellow, white, pink, red or blue flower. They lend a great contrast with taller growing flowers and weeds and can form a ground cover in barren areas. Many people purposely plant larkspurs and columbines, and these are members of the buttercup family, testifying to the beauty and diversity of buttercups.

Poppy (Papaver genus)

In some areas, poppies grow and spread so fast that they can quickly become a problem weed if they aren’t watched carefully. Yet the white, orange or red blooms are great for giving color to yards and gardens, especially when used in borders and along fence rows. While widely considered a weed, these plants are colorful enough that they are sometimes purposely planted and grown.

Milkweed (Asclepias genus)

The milkweed is also considered to be a weed in yards and gardens. Yet, with so many species and variations, it can add a lot of color to the land. The color of the blooms ranges from yellow to white, red, deep red and other attractive combinations. Milkweeds can add beauty to the yard and garden in another way, too. They strongly attract butterflies, particularly Monarchs. Butterfly caterpillars commonly feed on milkweeds, so the adult females are attracted to the plant in order to lay eggs.

Climbing nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

Also called bittersweet nightshade or woody nightshade, climbing nightshade is a weed that is often considered to be an invasive or noxious species. Still, it does lend a lot of color to the yard and garden, with flowers that are small, blue and yellow. Later, the green fruits form, and as these ripen, they turn red. The fruit appears much like miniature tomatoes, which isn’t surprising since they belong to the same family that tomatoes and potatoes belong to; the nightshades. This is far from being a complete list of weeds that add beauty to the yard and garden. Weeds, properly contained and controlled, can add a great deal of color to the area. There are also very few places that don’t have some weeds that can create astonishing displays if they are under control and are grown where they are wanted.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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18 Comments

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      • Thank you for the comments. Milkweed blossoms are extremely similar to those of Hoya, which also makes sense as Hoya is also a member of the Asclepias sub-family. The image I used is the same as that used on many websites, including botanical sites, to identify milkweed. The hoya that I have growing at the church has an entirely different blossom, though; blue and somewhat trumpet shaped. That also isn’t surprising, since there are around 300 species of hoya.

        • OHHHHH, so Hoya is a sub-species. We call them wax flower as well. Amazing, this took me on an hour long read on Hoya. I had no idea there were so many different kind of this sub -species. Now I want a few more, Thank you so much for the info that lead me to this conclusion.

          • You are entirely welcome. I also love hoya and plan to plant more at church next year. Right now, I the hoya that I grow there at church has very pretty, large, green leaves with a strong white border. The blue flowers are gorgeous, but I actually got the hoya for the leaves. lol

          • I do have a picture of the Hoya at church, but it is a single picture. Perhaps I could do an article about the before and after sequence I went through to put the flower beds in, to begin with. That way, it would be a true article and would include the picture of the Hoya. Think this would work?

    • We have both goldenrod and wild morning glories here, too. It is possible to get rid of the bindweed, but it takes a couple years, during which nothing is allowed to grow in that location. Then it usually doesn’t take long for reinfestation to occur. I gave up trying to get rid of it and mostly focus on controlling it. Still, the flowers are pretty.

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