Dear PoPville – Anyone Noticing Weeds Like This? What is it?

“Dear PoPville,

These are popping up like crazy all over. I didn’t notice them in 2008 but now I see them all over the place.”

Anyone else noticing these?

I’ve noticed a number of purple flower/weeds in my backyard but I rather like them. Anyone else noticing these small purple flowers in their yards?

13 Comment

  • The purple flowers are wild violets, native to VA, DC, MD etc. they come up every spring from roots underground. You can eat the blooms actually.

    If for some reason you don’t like them you can dig them up, they have a long tap root just like dandelions (you can eat the leaves and flowers of dandelions or make wine from the flowers)

    I can’t see the weeds good enough to tell what they are.

  • ah

    The weeds are horrible this year–growing all winter it seems.

  • Is this Dear PoP from 2009?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Hahaha, no. The 2008 refers to when the OP first moved to Petworth and started gardening.

  • The top looks like my yard, and I believe it’s a type of crabgrass, which I hate, hate, hate. It has runners beneath the soil that allows it to spread everywhere.

  • anon. gardener

    In the top photo is a charming little plant called bittercress. It is all over my back yard this year, and will be there for many years to come – last weekend i grabbed one and SPROING – seeds everywhere. It is supposedly edible, so maybe there is a bright side.

    The violets are charming, I’ve never understood why people consider them weeds.

    • anon. gardener

      Hmm. You didn’t mention the exploding seeds, so I guess it could be something else. If you touch one and the seed pods burst open, it’s bittercress. It starts off with small white flowers.

      • It’s definitely bittercress – the Wikipedia article on “Hairy Bittercress” mentions the exploding seeds…knows as explosive dehiscence. Vocab of the day 🙂

    • Ah, so that’s what it is. Yes, they sproinged all over when I touched them. I guess now I’ll have even more!

  • Ugh! I have a ton of bittercress all over my yard. Only thng that helps is to dig up the whole area by the roots and mulch it. Keeps sneaking into the perennial beds. I like the violets. We also have a ton of plantain (not the banana kind) dandelions and crabgrass.

    • anon. gardener

      Yeah, I should have pulled it all up when it was flowering, but in the early spring I am a sucker for anything that has a flower on it, even a weed.

      I actually don’t mind dandelions either. They are cheerful. And edible. Crabgrass however has no redeeming qualities.

  • Thanks for the weed identification, it is definitely bittercress and also for the weed identification site!

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