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What’s That Weed?

Introduced species: Chickweed (Stellaria media) Description: Chickweed is a very common garden plant, behaving as either an annual or a perennial depending on the local climate; our mild winters mean that it often lasts from one year to the next. The plant is inconspicuous, with small, opposite, oval-shaped leaves on stalks that can reach up […]

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What’s That Weed?

Introduced species: Dock (Rumex crispus and R. obtusifolius) Characteristics: These two common dock species are perennial members of the buckwheat family. Curly dock (R. crispus) may grow up to 1 m (3ft), while bitter dock (R. obtusifolius) may reach 1.5 m (5 ft). Leaves of these plants are fairly large (up to 30 cm, or […]

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What’s That Weed?

Non-native: English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Description: English laurel–aka cherry laurel or common laurel–is, confusingly, neither English nor a laurel, but a species of cherry native to the area around the Black Sea. (The “laurel” epithet derives from a passing similarity–in foliage and growth habit–to bay laurel [Laurus nobilis]. It is, in fact, considered a nuisance […]

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What’s That Weed?

Exotic species:  Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) Characteristics:  Milk thistle is a sparsely-branched, biennial thistle, growing up to 6 ft. (2 m) tall. The alternate, deeply-lobed leaves may reach 20 in. (50 cm) in length and 10 in. (25 cm) in width, and feature a distinctive white marbling pattern and spiny edges.  The plant may overwinter […]

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What’s That Weed?

Introduced species:  English hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) Characteristics:  English (or common) hawthorn is a broadly spreading shrub or small tree, typically up to 6 m (20’) tall, with a dense crown. The bark is pale gray or dull brown, and may have vertical orange cracks. The younger stems bear sharp thorns, 1 to 1.5cm long. The […]

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