Weed Appreciation Day
Weed Appreciation Day is a day on which people can take the time to think about the lesser loved plants in their yard and garden. Although many people have a narrow definition of what’s an acceptable plant and what’s a weed, some of the plants that are categorized as weeds actually have beneficial qualities—if people would only give them a chance. So on this day, a day that falls on March 28th every year, people can take the time to recognize and appreciate the weeds around their home.
Why Weeds Aren’t Always Bad
One of the first things that people should consider is that not all weeds are bad. Sure, some weeds are invasive species and end up pushing out native plant species, and of course, some plants are toxic to humans and pets. However, that doesn’t mean that all of these plants are bad. The dictionary only lists a weed as something undesirable to a person, and that definition can vary from one person to another. In other words, what’s a beloved plant in one yard, is a weed in another yard.
Weeds That Are Edible
What many people don’t realize is that many different “weed” species that are growing around their homes might be edible. Some weeds can be made into teas, worked into salads, or cooked in some other ways, and we’re going to look at some of them.
Before we begin, however, we do need to emphasize the importance of never eating plants in your yard unless you know what you’re doing. There are plenty of poisonous weeds that will kill a person if they’re ingested, so only those knowledgeable about safe plants to eat should even try to eat their weeds.
Edible Plants Categorized As Weeds:
- Burdock (Arctium lappa)
- Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)
- Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
- Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
- Wood Sorrel (Oxalis)
- Pigweed (Amaranthus)
- Violets (Viola sororia)
Weeds Beneficial To Bees
Of course, the value of a weed doesn’t always depend on whether it can be eaten. There are many plants that are toxic to humans that are beneficial to other animal species. And there are a ton of plants that are beneficial to bees, which is something to think about considering that bee populations all over the world have been in steady decline over the last few decades. Below are some plants that are considered “weeds” but are beneficial to bees.
- Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
- Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)
- Buttercups (Ranunculus sp)
- Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale)
- Sow thistles (Sonchus sp.)
Observing Weed Appreciation Day
It’s extremely easy to observe this interesting holiday. All a person has to do is to educate themselves on the difference between beneficial weeds and those that aren’t beneficial. Once a person is armed with that information, they can make educated choices on what weeds to keep in their yard—not only on this day but all year round.