- Author: Brad Hanson
When we talk about weeds, we often use the definition of "a plant out of place". While that's a bit human-centric for some folks, it does provide an introduction for me to share some of my favorite plants-out-of-place photos.
Credit for this first one goes to my wife who, knowing my appreciation for both weeds and strawberries, snapped a photo of this common groundsel seedling in a clamshell of berries at the local supermarket.
Next, I ran across one of Lynn's photos of real weeds in artificial turf. (she actually posted this previously, but I thought I'd share it again)
The next one I took in the landscaping outside a UC research facility (I used it to tease the weed science colleague who worked there). This particular one is horseweed, but I very frequently see weeds growing up in areas planted to flower mixes - when a wide range of seedlings are emerging, it's hard to know which ones are weeds and which are desired species.
Another common groundsel image (above). Those windblown seeds can sure get around! While I'll grant that this roof isn't exactly in pristine condition, it's hard to imagine a whole lot of resource are available for plant growth and reproduction either.
This one is one I took at a parking lot at UCD. I like to use this when talking about how weeds can sometimes tell us something about the environment. Based on my understanding of flora and invasive plants that prefer moist environments, I deduced there may be an irrigation leak in this area (the ducks standing in a puddle was also a clue).
Finally, one of my favorites is this one of jointed goatrass spikelets in a package of beer-brewing ingredients. This one even more humorous if you know that my dissertation research involved looking through thousands of samples of soft white wheat for either off-colored wheat kernels or wheat x jointed goatgrass hybrids - when I pulled this bag of brewing ingredients out of the package, I had gradschool flashbacks.
It never ceases to amaze me how weeds can invade, survive, and reproduce in an immense range of environments. While weed management is an achievable goal, weed "control" may not be within our reach...