Certain plants follow, with persistency, the plow and hoe. They prefer soft, cultivated ground to the rocks, woods, and fields. Much of the farmer's problem is how to keep out the unprofitable plants. Many are immigrants. Great steamships and railways give them free passage. They are "vegetable tramps." John Burroughs says: 'They are going east, west, north, south. They walk, they fly, they swim; they steal a ride; they travel by rail, by flood, by wind; they go under ground and they go above, across lots, and by the highway."
Not all weeds are unsightly, nor have they all dull blossoms. Most of them, even the pretty ones, make themselves unwelcome by becoming too common. Webster says a weed is "any plant growing in cultivated ground to the injury of the crop or desired vegetation, or to the disfigurement of the place; an unsightly, useless, or injurious plant."
Such as they are, we are bound to give them space in our vegetable economy. The "wheat and tares," we are told, "the good and the bad, will grow together till the end of the world."
In this chapter are also grouped a few plants which have "escaped" and, in certain localities, are found growing wild.
Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva). Page 150. An escape.
Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum). Page 152. An escape.
Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Page 46. An escape.
(O. nutans). Page 47. Seldom found. An escape from gardens,
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari botryoides). Page 300. Found occasionally in fence-rows and corners. An escape.
Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus). Page 26. A common weed.
Bitter Dock (R. obtusifolius). Page 26.
Field or Sheep Sorrel (R. Acetosella). Page 251. A weed found almost everywhere in cultivated ground and lawns.
Smaller Green Dock (R. conglomerates). Page 27.
27. Persicaria (P. pennsylvanicum). Page 251. Prince's Feather (P. orientate). Page 252. An escape. Black Bindweed (P. Convolvulus). Page 28. A common weed in waste and cultivated ground. Climbing False Buckwheat (P. scandens). Page 383. In gardens, a weed. Lady's Thumb (P. Persicaria). Page 252. A weed in rather damp places. Pigweed. Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album). Page 28.
Recently introduced, but rapidly gaining ground and difficult to eradicate. Green Amaranth. Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus). Page
Corn Spurrey (Spergala arvensis). Page 62. A weed infesting grain fields. Common Chickweed (Stellaria media). Page 64. A weed, but not aggressive, and good for the chickens. Long-leaved Stitchwort (5. longifolia). Page 65. Common Mouse-ear Chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum). Page 65. Corn Cockle (Agrostemma Githago). Page 254. Found in fields of grain. More troublesome in Europe than with us. Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis). Page 256. Probably an escape. Purslane (Portulaca olcracea). Page 162. A weed in cultivated grounds. Common Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus). Page 166. Tall Buttercup (R. acris). Page 166. Celandine (Chclidonium majus). Page 168. Imported. A weed found near old garden walls, in damp soil. White Poppy (Papaver somniferum). Page 75. An escape. Climbing Fumitory (Adlumia fungosa). Page 451. Sometimes cultivated, and escaping. Pale Corydalis (Corydalis sempervirens). Page 258. Springing up in recent clearings. Golden Corydalis (C. aurea). Page 169. The members of this genus are pretty vines with weak stems, found in recent clearings or cultivated ground. They can hardly be ranked as weeds.
Shepherd's Purse (Capsella Bursa-pastoris). Page 79. Common weed.
White Mustard (Brassica alba). Page 169. Cultivated, but often found growing wild.
Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale). Page 170. Naturalized from Europe, this has become a weed.
Spider-flower (Cleome spinosa). Page 81. An escape from gardens where it is cultivated. A species, more often found in gardens, has a most offensive scent when in blossom. This is C. serrulata.
Mossy Stone crop (Sedum acre). Page 171. An escape.
Syringa. Mock Orange (Philadelphus inodorus). Page 394.
Large-flowered Syringa (P. grandiflorus). Page 394. This and the preceding are found wild in mountains and woods southward, but often are cultivated and "established" in the North.
Red Currant (Ribes vulgare). Page 385. The currant of our gardens, found sometimes as an escape.
Dyer's Greenwood. Whin (Genista tinctoria). Page 428. An escape.
Bristly Locust. Rose Acacia (Robinia hispida). Page 440. An escape.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Page 313. Cultivated and escaping.
Spring Vetch (Vicia sativa). Page 316. A forage plant, cultivated and sometimes spreading to waste ground.
Pea Vine (V. americana). Page 453.
Common Flax (Linum usitatissimum). Page 319. An escape.
Lady's Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata). Page 181. A weed.
Snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata). Page 90. An escape.
Cypress Spurge (E. Cyparissias). Page 34. An escape.
Caper Spurge. Mole Plant (E. Lathyrus). Page 34.
Poison Oak. Poison Ivy (Rhus Toxicodendron). Page 385. The poison ivy, which is gaining ground wherever permitted, must be reckoned among our most undesirable weeds.
Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Page 390. Often cultivated as a hedge plant, and found in some places naturalized.
Althaea (Hibiscus syriacus). Page 267. An escape.
Common Mallow. Cheeses (Malva rotundifolia). Page 92. Common in cultivated ground.
Common St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum). Page 186.
Sometimes a troublesome weed. Pansy. Heart's-ease (Viola tricolor). Page 322. An escape. Caraway (Carum Carvi). Page 104. An escape. Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota). Page 108. A troublesome weed. Blue Myrtle. Periwinkle (Vinca minor). Page 326. An escape. Cypress Vine (Ipomoea Quamoclit). Page 446. An escape. Common Morning Glory (/. purpurea). Page 446. An escape. Catnip (Nepeta Cataria). Page 121. A common weed. Ground Ivy. Gill-over-the-ground (N. hederacea). Page 337.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). Page 121. Often cultivated and escaped. Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis). Page 341. An escape. Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum). Page 342. Sometimes an escape. Common Nightshade (Solanum nigrum). Page 123. Appears in damp, cultivated ground. Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa). Page 203. Often spontaneous in gardens. Strawberry Tomato. Ground Cherry (P. pruinosa). Page
A weed in lawns. Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tartarica). Page 420. An escape. Trumpet Honeysuckle (L. sempervirens). Page 437. American or Italian Woodbine (L. Caprifolium). Page 44S. Daisy Fleabane. Sweet Scabious (Erigeron annuus). Page 138
(Ambrosia artemisiijolia). Page 36. Great Ragweed (A. trifida). Page 37.
Ox-eye Daisy. White-weed (Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum).
Page 144. A weed; found in all fields. Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). Page 234. Escaped from gardens, where it once was much cultivated for medicinal purposes. Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense). Page 367. Bachelor's Button. Bluebottle (Centaurea Cyanus). Page
368. An escape. Salsify. Oyster-plant (Tragopogon porrifolius). Page 296. An escape.
I found a seemingly new species once in a walk along the Pompton fields (New Jersey). It was a pretty crimson flower of the Composite, and as I could not find any mention of it in the Manual (an old edition of Gray), I plumed myself on being a discoverer, with all the pride of an amateur astronomer who locates a new asteroid.
My pretty flower was only an oyster-plant "escaped from gardens."