Why do we call dandelions weeds?


Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
606
Reaction score
920
Location
Close to The Garden of England
Hardiness Zone
8b
There's no technical definition of a weed but it's considered that a weed is a plant that is where you don't want it.

Having said that, most gardeners have a list of weeds that they all agree are unwanted. Dandelions are a nuisance because their leaves are not particularly attractive and the flowers seed so profusely that they propagate everywhere and quickly cover the ground.

Fortunately they're not as pernicious as some other weeds. They are fairly easy to dig out.

Weeds that are more difficult to remove are things such as bindweed, strawberry weed (they both have 'weed' in their names ;)), equisetum (mare's tail/horse tail) and ground elder. :mad:
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
1,442
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
What @Bootsy said.

Also, failing to control dandelions on one's own lawn is sort of anti-social if you have neighbors who try to keep their lawns dandelion-free, because how aggressively and quickly they spread.
Thankfully I don't have neighbors who value pristine lawns. :D
When I was a kid we'd pick the early dandelion leaves for salad (before they flower; afterwards they get bitter) and I see dandelion leaves for sale at supermarkets here. Which always sort of amuses me.

My biggest "weed" is creeping charlie, that stuff is pernicious. It's pretty, with little purple flowers and I don't mind it in my lawn but it's a real pest in the veggie and perennial beds.
http://www.theiowagardener.com/Creeping_charlie.html
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,097
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
LOL, not this again! I think it's time we all decide that weeds are weeds and this can mean something different to someone different and let them be. There are a few different definitions out there, but the bottom line is anything that is unwanted and/or invasive is just that.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
3,392
Reaction score
941
The definition of weeds has been explained a lot time already, but to me a weed is any plant that starts growing in your garden without your consent, lol. So basically anything that suddenly starts growing in my pots or garden (that I didn't plant) is considered a weed by me, that includes plants that are not so invasive, but just growing in the wrong place.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
443
Reaction score
517
Hardiness Zone
USDA 10a - Sunset 22
Country
United States
A weed is just a flower growing in the wrong place.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
148
Reaction score
53
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
I thought about this. It is a weed in my garden but not in my lawn. I happen to like dandelions in my lawn. My boyfriend may disagree with me because we live in the suburbs and my hillbilly ways don't conform (hehe), but they are a very useful and tasty plant to have around.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
5,377
Reaction score
1,800
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
Poland
My thought exactly, Greenhorn!:)
Personally, I don't consider dandelions weeds and I don't try to get rid of them. They're so pretty! I love when they turn into puff balls:love:
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
148
Reaction score
53
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
My thought exactly, Greenhorn!:)
Personally, I don't consider dandelions weeds and I don't try to get rid of them. They're so pretty! I love when they turn into puff balls:love:
Do you wish on the puffballs?
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
5,377
Reaction score
1,800
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
Poland
Do you wish on the puffballs?
No, people in my country don't do it. But I often have puffball fights with my boyfriend, lol. I always end up with thousands of dandelion seeds in my hair;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
148
Reaction score
53
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
We close our eyes, make a wish, and blow the seeds into the wind.
 

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,547
Reaction score
9,648
Location
Kent
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
I close my eyes, make a wish, and then set fire to the seed head :)
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
111
Reaction score
24
Hardiness Zone
9a
Mark Catesby, known as the Colonial Naturalist and arguably the most important naturalist of the last few thousand years, was said to have called weeds "more self-reliant flowers". The dandelion is not only a lovely flower, but it is important medically and is an excellent source of food for humans, It can also be used to make a popular wine.
I lived in the Knoxville area a few years ago and had a musician friend who insisted (vehemently, he had OCPD) that the beautiful wild violet is a terrible weed. I pointed out that many people in East Tennessee (where violets grow particularly well) have flower beds dedicated to them, and I once lived in a lovely rental home near Sevierville where the instructions for lawn care included "Don't harm the violets" (the front lawn had no grass, only an incredibly beautiful variety of violets. To be fair, it was on a steep slope and would have been hard to mow
Dandelions and violets are both in a group of wild-flowers which are either loved or hated. I here have lovely spider-sorts (two varieties) in my lawn, my back lawn is solidly one ground-hugging variety that makes a lovely alternative to grass (under spreading oaks).
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,530
Reaction score
490
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
We call so many beautiful flowers weed because they are independent, they don't need our care, and they grow where they want :) My yard is currently decorated with yellow flowers and their puffy balls :)
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
606
Reaction score
920
Location
Close to The Garden of England
Hardiness Zone
8b
but to me a weed is any plant that starts growing in your garden without your consent
As far as I'm concerned I agree with your sentiment but would change the word 'starts' to 'continues' :D. We let self-seeded 'plants' grow until we decide whether we wish to keep them. This has resulted in quite a lot of different plants in our garden.

The flower in my avatar is a good example. (y) It arrived without consent and has now been cosseted and encouraged as it is so beautiful. It's a Wild Bee Orchid

P1070001.JPG


P1070002.JPG


For those of you who like dandelions ;) (It's near where Zigs lives (y) but hundreds of miles from me)

P1070403.JPG


A very pretty coastal town
P1070406.JPG



A dandelion seed head in the very early morning dew
P1070411.JPG
 
Ad

Advertisements

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,547
Reaction score
9,648
Location
Kent
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
I was at Sidmouth last week :)

Hell of a weed growing on the cliff there, a Hottentot Fig from South Africa, thought i'd taken a pic but I can't find it :(
 

zigs

Naughty Cactus Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
8,547
Reaction score
9,648
Location
Kent
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
9a
Country
United Kingdom
Never got there that early:D

Found it :)
DSCN1093.JPG
DSCN1094.JPG
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,824
Reaction score
1,187
Location
Port William
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United Kingdom
Mark Catesby, known as the Colonial Naturalist and arguably the most important naturalist of the last few thousand years, was said to have called weeds "more self-reliant flowers". The dandelion is not only a lovely flower, but it is important medically and is an excellent source of food for humans, It can also be used to make a popular wine.
I lived in the Knoxville area a few years ago and had a musician friend who insisted (vehemently, he had OCPD) that the beautiful wild violet is a terrible weed. I pointed out that many people in East Tennessee (where violets grow particularly well) have flower beds dedicated to them, and I once lived in a lovely rental home near Sevierville where the instructions for lawn care included "Don't harm the violets" (the front lawn had no grass, only an incredibly beautiful variety of violets. To be fair, it was on a steep slope and would have been hard to mow
Dandelions and violets are both in a group of wild-flowers which are either loved or hated. I here have lovely spider-sorts (two varieties) in my lawn, my back lawn is solidly one ground-hugging variety that makes a lovely alternative to grass (under spreading oaks).
You call bellbind, or field horsetail, or ground elder, "more self-reliant flowers"?
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top