Flowering Weeds at Chicago Garden

Flowering weeds at Chicago Garden.png

Three common garden weeds currently blooming in my garden and that you can find all around Chicago; in sidewalks, empty lots and gardens. 

The blue flower in the image above is Asiatic Dayflower, an introduced plant to Illinois, it can grow erect or sprawl and can be found blooming from June to October. The flowers are pollinated by bees and the foliage a food source of the Six-Spotted Beetle. One of the reasons I don't pull this weed very often in the garden is because the flowers are a true blue. A lot of flowers you buy commercially that are popular because they are "blue" are really more violet or purple. How can you pull something that blooms a color that people pay good money for?

Spotted Ladysthumb.png

The Spotted Ladysthumb a long-time resident at Chicago Garden, like the Asiatic Dayflower, is one I remember from my childhood. My cousins would pull the blooms and use them as sprinkles to decorate mud cakes when they were kids.

The leaves of the plant has a spot on them that looks like a wine stain and if clipped or weeded makes a pretty decent garden plant growing at the edge of a bed.
 

Ladysthumb weed growing in sidewalk in Chicago.png

Here, a large clump of it is growing out of a crack in the sidewalk and illustrates the mounding habit of the plant that I find attractive.

The last flowering weed at Chicago Garden is Oxalis.

Yellow blooms of Oxalis weed at Chicago Garden.png

I find the little yellow blooms attractive and the small banana-like seed pods that develop interesting. It survives pretty well among taller plants and thrives out in the open and can even be found in your container garden.

Comment below reminded me that I forgot to include two weeds currently blooming in the garden.

Nightshade, which is a a species of vine related to the potato, native to Europe and Asia. In my garden it is growing along a fence and currently about 5 feet tall. The leaves are arrowhead-shaped and once pollinated (bumble bees currently loving it) it produces these green fruits that turn orange to deep red and look like miniature tomatoes. They are poisonous to humans, but growing up they came in contact with them a lot and I don't recall being poisoned and I feel pretty alive today. If you have kids or pets in your garden, the best thing to do would be to remove this plant if you find it.

Nightshade flower and fruits.png

 

Filed under: Weeds

Tags: Flowers, Garden Weeds, Urban Gardening

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  • You've been selected as one of the top Gardening Twitterers in Chicago!
    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/breaking-tweets-chicago/2009/07/top-gardening-twitter-accounts-in-chicago.html

    Check out the list and let me know what you think. Would welcome suggestions for additions to the list too.

  • Oh shoot! You just reminded me that I forgot to include Pokeweed and Nightshade in this post. I was waiting for the Pokeweed to have some of the berries formed to photograph them before making this post.

    I like them both. I have some Nightshade growing and today I was admiring the woody stem that has formed over the past 2 seasons, while photographing the fruits. I'll have to update this post with them.

  • I'm terrible at the names of weeds. Of course I recognize them, and it's nice to have names to go with them. Makes them seem less. . . weedy. The only one of these three I already knew the name of was oxalis, and it's the only one we have in our yard. Nightshade is growing in the wild area between our yard and the neighbors behind us. I've seen it since I was kid, but never knew what it was called.

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    SSGardenGirl,

    You just reminded me of the post I made for bindweed and commenting that I find it odd that weeds have "cutesy" names and Ladysthumb has to be among the best names for a weed.

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