Well, we’re in the part of the year when weekly mowing is a must. And as I push the mower, I wonder what it is I’m actually cutting. Most of my yard is grass, but I don’t spray herbicides on the weeds that creep in. Today, I’m taking a closer look at some of what’s growing out there:
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Native to Europe, this plant has formed a mat in one corner of my yard. I’ve just learned, from the source linked above, that the leaves, stems, and seeds are all edible. I wouldn’t mind having this as ground cover all over, as the flowers are pretty and i would never, ever have to mow again.
Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)
I have found conflicting information as to whether this plant is native to Florida. In my yard, it has volunteered on the edges of plants I water (I do not water my lawn). This is another plant that is edible, but bitter-tasting according to the source above.
Sandspur (Cenchrus echinatus)
An evil species that is (mostly) no longer in my yard, thanks to three springs’ worth of diligent digging and burning. Evil because every fall, those seeds dry up and become weaponized. Sadly native, I found a great many images on an Italian forum. Sorry we gifted you, world.
Goosegrass (Eleusine indica)
Or as it’s known in my yard, grass. Native to India, this seems to be the scourge of farmers and golf courses. I can see why–the woody roots are hard to pull once they’ve established themselves. I would never try to eradicate this plant, though, because Ollie (our cat) loves eating it and helpfully goes for the tall blades by the fence that I can’t mow.
Spurge (Euphorbia maculata)
This is a rapidly growing sticky ground cover. The poisonous sap can cause a rash and is carcinogenic. The flowers are tiny. I pull it whenever it makes an appearance. Native to Florida.
This list doesn’t represent most of the plants that I have/have had in the yard, just some of the more memorable ones. If there’s any interest in this post, I’ll do another installment.
Here are some of the other cozy things I like today:
Cooking video of the day: Nashville Hot Chicken
Link of the day: Stunning photographs of sharks by a Michael Muller
Watermelon recipe of the day (since it is National Watermelon Day):