Fall 'weeds' begin to flower

Pictured is Queen Anne’s lace (white flower) next to a chicory plant (blue flower). The chicory plant will soon disappear, while plants like Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod and yarrow will persist through the fall.

Photo by Mike Kay

Some of fall weeds are beginning to emerge throughout the county. These weeds will remain many in fields until the first killing frost arrives. Queen Anne's lace has a delicate white flower. Chicory has multi-petaled blue flower. The chicory plants will soon disappear, while plants like Queen Anne's lace, goldenrod and yarrow will persist throughout the fall.

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a member of the daisy family and is related to dandelions. This perennial has a taproot with leaves close to the ground, so it tolerates mowing. Seeds are spread by the wind. You may be familiar with its use in coffee.

Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota), also called wild carrot, is the plant from which the carrot was bred. It can be a noxious weed, outcompeting native plants in waste areas where new growth forms. Its seeds are spread by animals that brush by the plants. If you place a fresh-cut flower head in water with food coloring added, the plant will take up the color from the water.

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) and ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) are often associated with fall allergy sufferers. Goldenrod gets a bad rap since it blooms at the same time as common ragweed, although ragweed is the culprit. The showy yellow blooms of goldenrod attract numerous insects, which help pollinate by spreading its relatively large pollen grains, although this annual also propagates well through its spreading root system.

Articles by FCFCDB member

Nature Notes for 7/29/2012