Not All Weeds Are Ugly

Purple deadnettle, or lamium

Believe it or not, there is a National Weed Appreciation Day–but of course, that’s for a different kind of “weed,” the kind that is gaining legalization in many states and for many different purposes–medicinal, recreational, etc. That’s not the kind of “weeds” that I am talking about here.

Nope, I am talking about ordinary lawn weeds here. I know that most people find them horribly objectional, but I find some of them really pretty. This one, commonly known as purple deadnettle, is actually a “weedy” form of the lamium that we grow in our gardens. If you look closely, you can see the same sort of heart-shaped leaves and little rosette flowers.

This is a mint family plant, which you can tell by the square stems, so that tells you that if this plant is happy where it is growing, it does have the potential to spread and cover some area. There’s a hillside that’s pretty much all purple deadnettle this time of year. I see it on my drive home from work. I think it’s lovely–and I expect the homeowner–who can’t grow anything on it because of its steepness–is probably grateful that something is growing there.

Apparently this plant–and its close relative, henbit–is also edible and a forager’s delight. This blog tells you more about that and how to distinguish henbit and purple deadnettle from other things growing in the early spring. If I were out foraging, I would not be so worried about misidentification as I would be about whether the area had been treated with pesticides–that’s a huge concern in my neighborhood where it seems every house but mine sports one of those yellow “pesticide applied” signs for 9 months of the year. Sigh. Some of them have those signs for 12 months because they treat for indoor insects as well. But I digress. Still it’s very important to know that the area where you are foraging is clean and not contaminated.

As for me, I will just delight in looking at–and not eating–the lovely weeds!

2 thoughts on “Not All Weeds Are Ugly

  1. nancy marie allen April 27, 2022 / 4:12 pm

    I have ajuga growing in the lawn which blooms in May with gorgeous blue flower spikes. Too pretty to pull up and discard. Someone must have planted it long ago and it keeps on coming back!

  2. gardendaze April 27, 2022 / 5:15 pm

    Oh yes, ajuga is another beautiful “weed.” I have seen glorious patches of that in people’s lawns. It is just lovely–you are lucky to have it!

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