Can you ID this TN wild plant/weed??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Darren in TN, May 6, 2004.

  1. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    Howdy, y'all.

    We have a wild plant/weed growing in great abundance in our fields and I'd like to know what it is if anyone can help. Right now it is about two feet tall, green and soft (not woody), with long toothy dandelion-like leaves and no flowers as of yet. We see it in our fields and along the road mostly. It's not spiny like thistle or anything like that-- really not that bad of a plant, I just want to know what it is so that I can find some use for it or at least be able to look at it and say, "Oh, there's some more of that *whatever-you-call-it* plant!"

    Thanks in advance,
    Darren
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,067
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    deep south texas
    sounds like a thistle, you need to pull or cut them out the put out burrs that stick to your clothes and animals,
     

  3. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    Messages:
    6,244
    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    heehee

    I think I know what you are talking about, but I don't know what it is either...
     
  4. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    Hi, Gayle, and thanks for your response.

    I thought maybe chickory, too, so I looked it up to refresh my memory. This stuff is MUCH thicker at the base-- chickory is pretty thin, but this stuff you'd have to grab with both hands to get all the way around it. Not as long and spindly for sure.

    (I need to grow up some chickory, though... Used to LOVE cafe du monde, which I believe is a mix of roasted coffee and roasted chickory... would be good with some roasted dandelion, too. Yum.)

    Darren
     
  5. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    Someobody on Gardenweb sent me to look at prickly lettuce (Lactuca) and indeed that is what we have. Fairly interesting-- has some uses as an edible plant, and several medicinal properties. Here's a site on it if anyone is interested:

    http://montana.plant-life.org/species/lactuca_serrio.htm
     
  6. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

    Messages:
    2,470
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    I'll have to watch for prickly lettuce here. It sounds as if it might be useful.

    I've been trying to encourage chickory to grow here, so I could try it as a coffee additive. I know it sounds funny that I'd have to encourage chickory, but we have very little on our place (only 2 plants, last year), although it is abundant on most farms, here, even next door.
     
  7. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    That is pretty funny about chickory, Gayle. When we used to live in Lynchburg, VA it grew EVERYWHERE, especially along the roadside. Got to be one of my favorite flowers.

    There seem to be a couple of different opinions on spiny lettuce. The best I was able to come up with is this: (1) the sap is an eye irritant, (2) the sap also has several medicinal properties, possibly including being a mild opiate-like analgesic, (3) eating lot of the foliage can make stock a bit sick, causing symptoms up to and including pulmonary edema (pneumonia-like fluid in the lungs), and (4) the young leaves are good raw and cooked. :) Kinda like prunes, I'd guess: a few taste great, but eat too many and you'll be sorry!

    Darnit, Gayle... the more I think about it, the more I want to try to establish some chickory, too! You are a BAD influence!

    Darren
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I vote for Queen Anne's Lace, or wild carrots. Gets about 4 feet tall and has off white flat lacy flowers later in the summer. The flowers are at the tops of tall branches that grow up out of the dark green fern or carrot like base plant which would be what we would see now. In northern Indiana it grows along the side ditches of county roads. Some times it is called White Top.
     
  9. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

    Messages:
    2,470
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Boy, if I had a nickel for everytime someone's told me I was a bad influence, I'd have to build another house, just for the nickels! :haha: :haha: :haha:

    You realize, if we keep this thread going, we could find all sorts of weeds that are useful, then we'd want them all. Next thing you know, we'd say, "To heck with the garden, let's just eat the weeds!". Hmmmmmm.... I might be onto something, there...
     
  10. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    LOL, I was just telling my wife yesterday that I wanted to start some cattails in a little marshy area we have... and some skunk cabbage... and some arrowroot... oh, this could be very bad.

    :)
     
  11. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

    Messages:
    2,470
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Darren, you're not thinking of trapping, fishing, and hunting, too, are you??? Homesteaders are SUPPOSED to raise their own! LOL Just think how much less work you'd have! This is sounding better all the time!