“A weed is but an unloved flower.”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

. . .

See the Beauty: Weeds

. . .

A few weeks ago, I spent several hours on my hands and knees pulling weeds out of my yard.

After an extremely dry previous summer and fall, only weeds sprang up this year where grass once grew. And my inclination, as a good suburban homeowner, was to eradicate them immediately.

But then I got to wondering about the worth in these little plants.

What were they? Are they really that worthless? Good for anything? And after a little research, I discovered that most of these annuals and perennials were far more valuable than I knew.

Like lamb’s quarters — a relative of spinach in the goosefoot family — that’s packed with such nutritional goodness as fiber, protein, Vitamins A and C, manganese, calcium, and both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Oh, and its protein-rich seeds can be used to make bread.

Or consider all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in purslane that benefits our immune system and helps sustain the health and vitality of our heart, bones, and organs.

And, of course, the dreaded dandelion, whose flowers, leaves, and roots have been treating maladies in people for hundreds of years, helping to reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and blood pressure and boost immunity, digestion, and liver health — among other things.

All in all, it was a simple reminder from nature that things which seem to be only invasive and intrusive may actually be beneficial and beautiful in their own ways.

 

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