Tag: Weeds

Urban Foraging Feverfew

Urban Foraging Feverfew
Ever since reading Grow Your Own Drugs earlier this year I’ve been looking around the neighborhood for useful plants and herbs. Feverfew derives from Latin word febrifugia, meaning “fever reducer.” It has been used in European folk medicine for centuries to alleviate fevers headaches, stomach problems and skin conditions. In ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago it... Read more »

'Frost Aster' Illinois Wildflower

'Frost Aster' Illinois Wildflower
I’ve mentioned before how much like letting weeds grow in my garden because they provide interest (free flowers) and attract beneficial insects into the garden. ‘Frost Aster’ is one such weed that I welcome in the garden because this time of year there isn’t much blooming in Chicago. Right now you can see it blooming... Read more »

Best Time to Pull Weeds in the Garden

After we’ve had some rain I like to go out in the garden and pull weeds. I find that this is the best time to pull weeds in the garden because they lift right out of the garden’s soil with ease. I know it can be difficult for some people to hand-weed their garden, but... Read more »

Canada Thistle, Invasive Garden Weed

Canada Thistle, I’ve come to learn, is an invasive garden weed. My first encounter with Canada Thistle occurred when it sprouted in the middle of a rose bush. Over the course of the growing season I noticed it, but couldn’t reach it, so I let it grow in the garden. Eventually, I figured I’d let it... Read more »

The State Flower of Illinois

The official state flower of Illinois is the common violet, Viola sororia. It was adopted as State Flower in 1908 and you can read about how that came to be, here. Every year I get a little overzealous with the weed pulling in the spring and start pulling them out of the garden after either forgetting that... Read more »

"Cover Chicago Garden in Black Plastic"

While looking over the stats for my MrBrownThumb garden blog I noticed that someone recently visited after searching for, “cover Chicago garden in black plastic.” The gardener must have been looking for information on weed deterrents. I’ve seen people use black plastic bags, which are different than the landscaping plastic you’ll find at your local... Read more »

Da Bears, Da Birds, Dirt Weed & Fresh Food Stamps

A Marijuana plant was spotted growing in a parkway in Rogers Park. This summer I was asked by a neighbor to grow Marijuana plants for her in my garden. I surprised myself when it took me a few moments to say no. I blame it on the recession. A couple of days later I attended... Read more »

Chicago's Invasive Plant List

On May 9, 2007 the City Council passed the Invasive Species Ordinance that made it unlawful to possess certain invasive plant and animal species. At the time the plants on the list were mostly aquatic plants, but this year the list was updated to include land-based invasive plants. The updated Invasive Species Ordinance now makes... Read more »


Dandelion is the common name for Taraxacum officinale, a genus of flowering plants native to Europe, North America and Asia. The English dandelion is a corruption of the French dante de lion which translates to “lion’s tooth,” a refference to the deeply serrated leaves of the plant. The flower head (floret) of the dandelion is actually several... Read more »