weeds - take heed

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by ppp, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Agreed though I don't know that many weedy food crops

    In Australia many have been introduced by "experts" to solve some perceived problem
    eg
    Bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera) is a weed of national significance. The South African native was planted along the coast in NSW between 1946 and 1968 to reduce dune erosion. The weed has since spread along 80% of the coastline.

    Others are garden escapees (lantanta Privet) or smuggled themselves in.

    The annual weeds along railway lines and waste places , interestingly, are mostly medicinal herbs. I guess the "poisonous" medicinal compound in them helps them compete. Even lantana is medicinal, in native Mexico
    If locals knew of the uses of weeds, would this mean they would be harvested more and therefore be less invasive?
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    introduced plants aka weeds usually have a controller in their home habitats, eg.,. the can toad(yeh i know not a weed but a pest under the weed label) is kept in control by camens and the like.

    i think our worst impact is all those grazing grasses bought in mostly from south africa, to presumable satisfy the graziers needs. they have all but pushed out the native grasses along our coast, this all so graziers could over graze.

    look up gatton way to see the take over by lantana of ground cleared for farming purposes and no longer in farming use, mostly high ground.

    len
     
  4. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    They sell mesquite wood chips for barbecuing for $7 a bag in the shops.

    One mans weed is another mans gold
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I saw this article some where else and was driven to remark that a plant that is sown in a desert environment that provides fodder for animals and wood for pople and biomass to boost soil fertility that gets "out of hand" is rampant bounty and we need to increase our consumption of the "weed" or risk redesertification.
    This should be a success story and not a weed story
     
  6. wmthake

    wmthake Junior Member

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    Let them eat goats! And let the goats eat Mesquite. Mesquite can also be turned into flour. Maybe the government should invest in goats and mesquite-flour mills rather than the eradication of mesquite.

    I don't know, I have only uninformed thoughts on the subject.

    I really think there's more to the story. The article says they went wild planting mesquite in africa, which is now displacing farmers. Maybe they planted the stuff too thick with their "if a little is good, a lot is better" mentality. Or maybe it's an inability to adapt, or a desire to do what you're doing regardless of a changing landscape which, in any case, has something to offer.

    The problem with "weeds" is that some are less useful to us than others. Every plant has a use, it's just that the energy conversion in using some plants is tipped in favor of not using it. Oh, that and social biases.

    Take goldenrod for example. You could use it for rubber tires (they did it for the first Ford) but it would be rather inconvenient. Much easier to make a tea out of it and call it a day. Then there's the fact that nobody drinks goldenrod (social bias), not a huge market for the stuff. At that point, most people say "screw it" and cut it down, calling it a weed among other blasphemous names.
    W
     
  7. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    David Holmgren has supposedly had an interesting debate with the author, Tim Low, on this very subject.

    Bitou bush did an excellent job on stabilising the east coast of Australia until it got out of hand (due chiefly to humans lack of managing the species, as is always the case), now it has been mostly removed by chemical control (including aerial spraying), we are again losing our east coast to the ocean.

    Or is that just sea level rising...
     
  8. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    According to Smith in his Common Names of South African Plants (1966) bietou fruit was formerly used by the Khoi and San as a food source.
    Other uses an infusion of the leaves as an enema to treat fevers (Coates Palgrave).
    https://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/chrysanthmon.htm
    Traditional use for epilepsy?

    CHRYSANTHEMOIDES MONILIFERA
    Common name: bush-tick berry, bietou, boetabessie
    Dense, upright pioneer shrub often growing taller than 2 m, with dark green leathery leaves that are often toothed. It is frequently covered with yellow flowers (ca 20 mm across). The brownish berries are dispersed by birds. There are many varieties.

    The fruit is edible and very sweet. Like the Khoi, the Sotho, Zulu and Xhosa believe the fruit to contain blood strengthening and purifying qualities; it is also a tonic for men suffering from impotence and for recovering from weakening illnesses like stomach ailments or gastritis. Ripe berries are also added to porridge or the juice is taken in water or tea. It clears adolescent acne and skin problems (6). Do not eat if you have sinusitis.

    The ash from the leaves and stems was used in the making of soap.

    Recipe 1: Bush-tick berry cordial 4 cups ripe berries, 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar, 6 cloves, 1 thumb-length of root ginger. Boil together for half an hour in a closed pot. Stir regularly. Allow to cool, strain through fine sieve. Bottle the syrup in a well-corked bottle. Serve diluted with iced water (1 part syrup to 8 parts water).

    Recipe 2: Bietou spray for mildew on plants (6) A quarter bucket of bietou bush leaves and stems burned to ash to one bucket hot water. Leave overnight, then splash onto plants every day for four days.
    https://fernkloof.com/medicinal-plants.mv
     

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