My weeds, massacred.

Two days ago I saw a mallow blooming along my path and I thought it was so pretty, I planned to post the picture I snapped as soon as I got home. I guess I snapped too hurriedly, because I didn’t get a good picture, and yesterday I didn’t get back there to try again.

This morning was foggy and then cloudy, which would make it easier for me to get a good image, but I as I put off my walk for one thing and another I started to worry that the sun would beat me to the spot. Eventually I set off, walking fast and looking up at the sky as I went, where indeed the sunshine was about to break through.

Soon I forgot all about the lighting, when I turned on to the path to see — decimation!

Clearly my city’s maintenance workers are confident about what is a weed: anything growing in a 3-6 foot swath along the bike paths is Unwanted and deserving of execution at any moment.

This is the spot where Common Mallow had come into its bloom:

I will post the picture I took in case I don’t get another:

malva neglecta

My eyes were peeled looking for a mallow that might have escaped the mower and I found one:

I also went down by the creek to get closer to some cow parsnip to see if it actually was that, and saw lots of lush and wild plants who are safe for now… at least, until someone decides to dredge the creek!

That mix includes a kind of horsetail reed, probably Equisetum hyemale. I have another species in my garden, which I don’t have time to tell about right now, because I need to actually go into the garden and work, and pull up some of my kind of Equisetum, which I am considering a weed in some places, and in other places, an ornamental plant. 🙂

I noticed those plants above because I had taken a short-cut home, being somewhat disheartened by the ruin of my usual fields of research, and that led me past a less familiar stretch of the creek. [Update: The vine above I’m pretty sure is a wild cucumber or Marah, which is in the gourd family.]

Mowing is the thing to do this week, it seems. My neighbor Ray died a couple of years ago but someone is still “taking care of” his house, it seems. I don’t think it looks better than it did before they mowed the weeds he left behind, but I understand: now that our rainy season is over, all of these weeds will turn into crispy dry Fuel for wildfires, and after last fall’s devastation, people are duly careful.

Many weed portraits were added to my files in the last weeks while the plants were enthusiastically obeying their calling, and which I will use to continue my botanical, etymological and philosophical studies of weeds. So never fear! Weeds will return to Gladsome Lights, and I have no doubt they will also return to the borders of my walking paths.


9 thoughts on “My weeds, massacred.

  1. Poor Mallow! So sad that it was decimated! Something like that happened at my local railway station where I used to live. There was a steep bank full of Ox-eye daisies and I planned to bring a camera to photograph them the next time as I’d forgotten it. The next day, the entire slope had been mowed within an inch of its life and all the picturesque daisies had gone to Floral heaven! It was so sad!


  2. Is the name of your mallow really “malva neglecta”? Too bad it isn’t really the case. I’m sure the mowers would be surprised to learn of your disappointment, imagining they were doing a good thing.

    Your mallow leaves look exactly like my hollyhocks in the front bed; they come up every year, no matter what I do to the bed – I know they’re related. A long time ago someone gave me some marsh mallow seeds; it was a lovely plant with leaves like velvet. I like mallows.


  3. Too bad your weed meadow was mowed and the Mallow destroyed. I’ve only known Mallows as garden flowers in fact I bought some seeds that I sowed. So far 3 tiny plants are up. These are said to grow 3′ tall and have lovely purple and white flowers.


  4. I love so much your view of wildflowers also known as weeds. After our first rain shower during these drought days and months the prairie was covered with the loveliest low growing hue of purple. I asked the locals the name and not one could answer. They see these charming butterfly feeders as only weeds. Thanks for spotlighting God’s Gifts.


  5. I’ve had mallow tea! I’d want to dig that mallow you found up and take it home. Also, the horsetail…my husband went to Peru and they make “emoliente” with it (and other plants) that is wonderful. We have an international market here where I can buy a bag of it, dried and add boiling water, let it sit then strain.


  6. We have so many native mallows here, includine one of my favorites — a lovely pink one known as salt marsh mallow, Texas mallow (also known as Turk’s cap), and a big white one the size of a dinner plate that just knocks me out (the crimson-eyed rose mallow).

    As for the mowers? A pox on them all. Yes, I understand the need to mow in certain circumstances, but a little flexibility might be good. Around here, people actually show up at the County maintenance shed and beg for the mowers to wait for the seeds to form, thank you very much!

    I once was so irritated by the scalping going on I wrote an etheree titled “Advice to Mowers.


    1. Thank you for sending me back to that post, Linda! Today I went the opposite direction from my usual route and on a similar but less-used bike path, and the mowers hadn’t touched it. There was no mallow, but I saw several plants that don’t grow where I usually go, so that was fun.

      I must look up your many mallows. Truly I never gave the wild ones a thought until I saw that flower this week!


  7. I believe it was the mallow I played with so often as a child. Don’t they make tiny little seeds that look like miniature segmented pumpkins in a little green skin?


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.