Big Roadside Weed: What Is It??

Whenever I've mow the greenmargin, I avoid harming this big weed, about three feet tall & at least as wide. Though unmolested it never spreads anywhere else, but is getting bigger every year. Here it is big & green in April:
http://www.paghat.com/images/bigweedonstreet_ap.jpg
and here it is completely changed & rust-red in July:
http://www.paghat.com/images/bigroadsideweed_earlyjul.jpg
I find it very beautiful & would love to have a name for it.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Ugh. I'm afraid that I fall on the noxious weed side of things for that one ;> I suspect that it's curled dock:
    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/fab32s00.html
cheers!
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snipped-for-privacy@iguana.reptiles.org (Cat) wrote:

Thanks, that certainly looked like it, so I looked up the genus, &amp instantly found that it was not Crispy Dock per se (an introduced invasive pest plant) but is Rumex occidentalis, native of right here on Puget Sound (actually, from Alaska to California), bigger & branchier than R. crispus, but never aggressive, which explains why in three years this one has never seeded itself anywhere as crispy dock would, though every year it is just loaded with seeds.
Granny Artemis agrees with you that it just looks like a weed & if I hadn't been mowing around it, she wouldn't let it have its space. It still strikes me as a beautiful & interesting plant, weed though it be.
I'm off to look up some more stuff about it. Looks like a useful plant -- native americans harvested it for food.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Neat! [and much better news ;>]

Heh. It takes all kinds ;> My mom thinks that I'm crazy to grow deadly nightshade and bittersweet ;>

Hmmm. I'll have to try and hunt out my book about native american plant foods tomorrow...
cheers!
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I grow American Bittersweet, in my area it is actually disappearing slowly and the cedar waxwings love the stuff come late summer. I had nightshade in the old yard I'd pull out once the flowers passed so it never really spread but I did get to enjoy the flowers, I think they are pretty. Colleen Zone 5 CT
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snipped-for-privacy@iguana.reptiles.org (Cat) wrote:

Nightshade IS a beautiful woody vine & I let one get quite big for a year or so, but when they started springing up all over the place I decided not to encourage them. Spreads very aggressively here. But leaves, flowers, & fruit are quite pretty, & it's no more "deadly" than any number of commonly gardened plants, could even be eaten if first well cooked. Here's my article "Deadly Nightshade should be renamed Lovely Nightshade": http://www.paghat.com/nightshade.html
-paghat the ratgirl
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paghat wrote:

There are different varieties of nightshade. The black nightshade is very common in my fields, but is not really poisonous. I have been told that there is another variety here in New England that has red berries instead of black berries that is much more toxic. It is more of a vine than a bush. Fortunately, it's less common (at least here).
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Being totally pedantic, there's an amazing amount of confusion around the various 'nightshades'.
The plant that most north americans refer to as 'deadly nightshade' is actually 'Solanum Dulcamara' [a european import, that tastes absolutely dreadful, and has red berries] - and also called 'european bittersweet'
http://perso.club-internet.fr/leroux01/solanum_dulcamara_01_12_2000.jpg
If the 'black nightshade' that we're talking about is the same one - 'Solanum Nigrum', it'd a low bushy plant, with fairly small black berries about the size of currants. It's also an introduced plant, and I believe that it's fairly poisonous.
http://perso.club-internet.fr/leroux01/solanum_nigrum_1_08_10_2000.jpg
'european bittersweet' and 'black nightshade' look awfully similar, and I remember being warned to touch neither as a child, on the grounds that they were both extremely poisonous [we had both growing persistantly at the end of the fence].
True deadly nightshade, 'Atropa Belladona' is actually a shrub [I've grown one that reached well over 6 feet, with a sturdy stem and large leaves], and grows lovely large black berries that are about the size of a cherry. I'm told, although I haven't tried it, that the berries taste quite lovely. Poison control says that 6 berries will make an adult particularly unwell.
http://www.uni-essen.de/botanik/Exkursionen/Atropa_belladonna.jpg
This photo gives some idea of scale:
http://www.erowid.org/plants/show_image.php?i lladonna/images/archive/atropa_belladonna7.jpg
cheers!
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Nice ;>
I've dealt with the falling over problem by putting [well, okay - keeping a donor ;>] mine further back in the garden, in a 'cage' [one of the column shaped supports]. It stays fairly upright, and the flowers and berries drape out nicely ;>
cheers!
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) writes:

I propose fred.... seems like a good name.
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Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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I guarantee, from this day on, it's Fred.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Look like Rumex
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Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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