Jun 13, 2009

Need Your Vote: Useless Weed or Pretty Flower?

Pictured on your left is a plant in a shaded garden at my house, and my wife and I disagree over whether to keep or kill this flowering plant. My guess is that this is a specimen of mayweed chamomile, also known as Anthemis cotula.

My wife argues that this is little more than an opportunistic weed, and that it should be simply pulled, ground up, and discarded into the compost pile. My argument in favor of a stay of execution for the plant is that this area receives little sun, and that only hostas and springtime tulips seem to fare well there.

Besides, it was a free botanical gift courtesy of the wind or the excrement of a passing bird.

The loser of the contest has agreed to abide by a simple majority vote from a tabulation of comments from those who support life and those heartless accessories to murder who wish to see this harmless, innocent plant snuffed out like the victim of a PCP-fueled, AK-47-carrying psychopath.

OK: a bit of hyperbole to bolster my case, but I wrote the blog post. Anyways, what say ye: kill the weed or cultivate the flower?


Anonymous said...

Yank it and kill it.


LTLOP said...

I say if it is staying in one area and not spreading, leave it alone. Some botanical philosophy for ya... All flowers were once weeds until somebody decided to cultivate it and a weed is any plant that grows where you don't wnat it. So those beautiful (insert flower name here) that keep popping up where you don't want them are weeds.

Madrigal Maniac said...

I learned something from LTLOP today and in many ways it was existential. In the beginning are not all human beings just an "opportunistic weed."

Mad Jack said...

Hey Anonymous - byte me.

It's a flower and you're lucky to have it. I vote for cultivation.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Mike,
If it brings you pleasure, be it a weed or flower, let it live. I have a lovely yard of brightly yellow color blooms every spring and they are only here for a short while before they are gone. They are called Dandy Lions. They soon convert from this bright yellow color that dot the back ground of dark green grass into a white puffy ball that can be a grand source of entertainment to many children when they pick them, hold them into the air, and gently or with great force blow them on to the wind currents to be carried away.

I gave up the chemical warfare battle on them long ago because of their persistence on insisting on living.

I have learned to enjoy and look forward to their arrival every spring. Bio-diversity is the key isn’t it.

Jim Styro said...

Let it be.

To paraphrase the words of
Ian Malcolm (he said, desperately trying to work in a movie quote):
"What you call landscaping,
I call the rape of the natural world."

Carol said...

Leave it there. And look at it this way ... you now have a flowering shrub/bush/plant that 1) cost you nothing, 2) obviously requires no special care, and 3) is perennial in nature. Not to mention the little lift that those flowers add against the sea of shades of green in the hostas.

Middle Aged Woman said...

My apologies to my friend the Mrs., but leave it. It looks beautiful next to the hostas.

Anonymous said...


She's a Math Lover said...

Thanks honey, for slanting the post in your favor and obviously touching up the photo to enhance the beauty of the weed! I vote for option three, transplant it in another place!

microdot said...

Yes, well, the cute little plant is a very opportunistic and invasive weed.
It has tiny little seeds, millions of them and they will create more plants which will incrementally increase in number, and they do come back. you have to get the roots out!
Now, turn this problem around, you have a garden and plants which you like. The cute little weed wants to take over your garden and sees your plants as competition which must be eliminated.

What is a garden? What is a weed?
It's a garden because you have chosen to make esthetic decisions.

I have had a running battle with this weed for years and it will rule your life if you don't stop it in its tracks!

You city folks always manage to lose track of the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Here's the test for determining Flower vs. Weed:

If you (oh-so-gently) pull on it and it slips effortlessly out of the ground - roots and all - its a flower.

If you use a grappling hook, a blowtorch and several sticks of dynamite and it won't budge, its a weed.