Wildflowers or Weeds ~ Part 2

Wildflowers or Weeds Part 2 PicLast spring, I posted an article with pictures of all the wildflowers I found in my yard. (See “Wildflowers or Weeds.”) Some would call them weeds, but I find most of them quite acceptable in my yard. This spring, I was enjoying many of these same flowers when I noticed a few new ones. Well, new to me, at least. So, here is a “part two” of my yard’s wildflowers. (The picture above is a blue-eyed grass flower.)

HENBIT

I’ve had this plant in my yard since I moved here, but I didn’t know what it was until recently. What helped me identify it was its flower. I had not seen it bloom until this year – when I waited longer than usual for the first spring mowing. It’s actually quite pretty when flowering.

Henbit

Henbit

At my last meeting of the South Carolina Herbal Society, I learned that henbit is edible – leaves, stems, and flowers. Although I haven’t tried it (yet), I read it has a sweet peppery flavor. It can be eaten fresh or cooked. I also read that it stimulates the body to remove toxins via the skin and digestive system.

Another thing I learned is that henbit is an important nectar and pollen plant for bees, especially honeybees. So, in my book, this is definitely not a weed but a keeper!

CAROLINA BRISTLE MALLOW

It took me a while to identify this one, but I’m pretty sure I got it right. The flower was just beginning to open when I took the picture, so that made identification a little more difficult. Thankfully, the leaves helped me identify it.

Carolina Bristle Mallow

Carolina Bristle Mallow

On several sites, I read that this plant can be toxic to livestock if eaten in great quantities. So, this isn’t a plant I’d want to try eating!

CATSEAR OR FALSE DANDELION

I found this plant growing between the foundation and the walkway below my front door. Of course, once I took a picture of it and identified it, I started noticing it elsewhere in my yard.

Catsear or False Dandelion

Catsear or False Dandelion

Like the dandelion, this plant is fully edible. However, the leaves and roots are the parts most eaten. I haven’t tried eating this one yet, either, but I read that the leaves are not as bitter as dandelion leaves (which I have eaten). The roots are often roasted and ground to be used as a coffee substitute.

With all the wildflowers and herbs I’ve found on my property, I think I can say my yard is a veritable salad bowl!

What wildflowers are growing in your yard this spring?

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