Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weed or Flower?

I have quite a few plants that some would consider weeds. Some (like the horse herb), my husband considers weeds, and some (like the Asian jasmine) I consider weeds and some, like the spiderwort that Bob accidentally gave me when he dug up one of his giant petunias, are considered weeds by one, and precious flowers by another.

I've identified horse herb and frog fruit in my yard (both considered weeds by the husband). We obviously have a ton of Asian jasmine and it takes over EVERYTHING, thus it is a weed. The spiderwort is not yet considered a weed by us. Claude helped identify vetch, which I considered a weed. I don't think the husband considered it a weed until it started growing in the lawn.

But, what I can't figure out is whether this is a weed or not:

I mean it's a plant that I didn't plant and most of the time it looks pretty weed-like. But then it flowers with these actually quite large (relatively) and pretty (relatively) purple flowers. Very petunia-esque.

I've also found some type of Iris in this corner of the yard (by the cable box electrical doohickey thingamabopper), I should probably dig that up and put it where it will get sun so I can find out if I want to keep it or not...

10 comments:

The Younger Rachael said...

This showed up in our yard, by the sand pile (that will eventually make it into the garden). Very pretty, but got mowed down day before yesterday. No idea what it is though. Its not a sticker weed, or a tree weed, so I'll let it go.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Interesting that you describe them as "petunia-esque". One of their common names is Mexican petunia. It's a form of Ruellia. There's a bunch of different kinds. You can look through the Wildflower Center's database to see if you can match it up.

Ruellia

Diana said...

Yep, I'm w/ MSS - it's a Mexican Petunia. Lovely, I think. My ruellia is a short, spreading kind - not the same as yours, but I really enjoy it. I vote for not a weed!

Meredith said...

I've got some around, too. I'll be interested in knowing what they are!

Annie in Austin said...

If you have lots of space and need something to fill in then ruellia might not be a weed, but in a small garden where you already have plans for the space... then it's a weed!

Asiatic Jasmine is not a weed.... it is a hideous scourge set loose on Central Texas by the unthinking. Never supposed to be used in areas not surrounded by concrete, but some fool thought it would be a good groundcover along common fences in my neighborhood. Sorry you have it, too, Katina.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iris said...

I have two or three different ruellia varieties and appreciate its hardiness and pretty flowers, especially because mine's in a spot with nothing else, sort of an island of purple ruellia.

I have some of the white ruellia, too. It's fairly invasive, though.

Amy said...

The color is nice on this version of Mexican petunia, but it is fairly invasive; they've been popping up with more frequency in my flower bed every year. I pull up about half and leave the rest for added purple. One of my neighbors is taking the "meadow" approach and there are hundreds in his lawn right now.

LindaCTG said...

I love your perception! Indeed, one person's weed is another's treasure. Frogfruit is a great butterfly plant. Horseherb is another great no-water groundcover that attracts lots of beneficial insects. Yep, dump the jasmine.

And I'd started digging out that ruellia, too. It's a great plant but is highly invasive and will move into your living room!
But again: it's a great plant, depending on how much you want!

Lancashire rose said...

I was once giving a tour at the wildflower center and was talking about the purple skullcap Scutellaria wrightii and how wonderful it was. One lady said ] Oh, we think of that as a weed. It just seeds itself everywhere" I would never cal it a weed nor the ruellia you found growing. I like the taller variety and the shorter variety. Both are constant bloomers throughout the summer. i just pull them out in the places where I don't want them. I'm with Annie on the asiatic jasmine. Can't get rid of it. After 2 years it popped up again.

Bob said...

I think it's the Common Wild Petunia, Ruellia nudiflora. You can tell by the blooms being farther from the leaves and the bloom stalks being longer than all others. I treasure them when I find them here.