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Thoughts on Seattle's weeds

    My weed experience is considerable. For 24 years, I maintained voluntarily an educational, labeled, weed garden at the Seattle Tilth garden in Wallingford. My website contains 100 Weed-of-the-Month articles. Additional weed information is presented in my book Wild Plants of Greater Seattle. Finally, both at home and for clients, I've plentiful weed-control hands-on practice.
    For Seattle, it can be useful to divide our weeds into two broad categories: garden pests, and wild-area invasives. If I had the sudden power to wave a magic wand, to instantly eliminate my choice of 12 species in each division, below are my choices.

    Garden Pest weeds:
Annual Bluegrass
Bishop's Weed / Goutweed
Bracken N
Creeping Buttercup
Creeping Yellow Sorrel
Dwarf Fireweed
Hairy Bittercress
Horsetail N
Nipplewort
Lady Fern N
Pearlwort
Sheep Sorrel

    Native-area wild landscape invasive weeds:
Atlantic Ivy
Bittersweet Nightshade
Creeping Buttercup
English Holly
Eurasian Water-Milfoil
Herb Bennet
Himalaya Blackberry
Hybrid Japanese-Knotweed
Norway Maple
Reed Canary-Grass
Yellow Archangel
Wild Clematis

    Note the minimal overlap: only Creeping Buttercup. And those 3 native (N) species that I'd banish from gardens, I'd permit in wild areas. The weed police are too politically corect to declare any natives "noxious." But people in the real world know a weed is merely an unwanted plant. Some species that many people loathe, are wild vegetables of superb quality, such as Wild Morning-Glory (Bindweed) and Garlic Mustard. Incidentally, 87% of the above weeds have been eaten by humans.

(originally published in my February 2014 newsletter)

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Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert
Arthur Lee Jacobson plant expert

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