Saturday, May 16, 2009

What's In Our Lawn

Our lawn was looking shamefully shaggy last week. But it was full of interesting plants, so I snapped these photos before mowing everything down.

These tiny blue flowers might be a variety of chickweed, which isn't native.

Another non-native. These are Johnny jump-ups, Viola cornuta. They continue to reseed across the yard year after year, in and out of the flower beds. As far as I know this plant causes no harm to wildlife. I'm rather charmed by the stuff.

This is the insidious non-native vinca minor, also known as periwinkle. This plant creeps in and out of flower beds, and creates dense mats of vegitation in forested areas, crowding out native plants. It is hard to eradicate, and nurseries still sell it because it is easy to grow and because the foliage is evergreen. It is a good example of the shortsightedness of the horticultural industry.

Nurseries here should sell violets. They are native, perrenial, tough, and adorable. They also flourish in lawns. Some lawns in our area have so many violets that they look like purple confetti was tossed about.

Barren strawberry is a lovely little native with yellow flowers.

Wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta, is another unappreciated native flower that often appears in lawns. It has shamrock-shaped leaves.

. . .which is not to be confused with red sorrel, or sheep sorrel, Rumex acetosella, a non-native nuisance.

This is the flower of the red sorrel just beginning to bloom.

The white Dutch clover is now lush and blooming.

I don't know what this plant is, or if it is native, but it appears to be in the mustard family.


Pam J. said...

Great post! And photos. I'm so taken with my own weeds that I created a companion blog just for them ( I'm determined to ID them all eventually.

Michelle said...

OOh, a fellow weed-lover! Welcome to our blog! I'll be right over to check out yours!

new york city garden said...

Your blue flowered lawn weed is probably Veronica or Persian Speedwell.
Escaped early garden plant, since improved upon.
A weed now to most, I pulled my specimen out of a sports field and grow it in the garden.

Becky said...

We have many of the same weeds. Our soil type must be similar. I eat the Johnny Jump Ups in salad .The others I continue to mow or pull. We seem to have an unending supply!

Michelle said...

Thanks for the identification help, NY! Becky, Johnnies are edible? Oh boy, something new to taste! Thanks!