Friday, June 16, 2006

A Matter of Perspective

Stellaria media, Common Chickweed
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"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them." ~ Eeyore (A.A. Milne) Winnie the Pooh
What is a weed? A flower growing wild, probably in a place that disrupts our idea of a groomed green lawn or crisply manicured flowerbed. Many have flowers that are small, less than one-fourth inch in size; easily overlooked. But if we take the time to sit and look closely, they are as beautiful as the giant, but finicky orchid or the roses that require constant pruning and feeding. They require nothing from us and yet reward our neglect with hundreds of tiny flowers as they provide nectar for small insects.

This is Stellaria media or the "Common chickweed" that grows equally well in flowerbed or lawn. The name from the Latin stella for "star" because of the star-like shape of the flower; five deeply grooved petals. Delicate yet hardy, it will grow in soil unfit for other plants. Just a weed? It really depends on how you look at it.

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