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identify weed/plant

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
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This has gone crazy the past few weeks in one of my mounded beds that I planted a last bit of beans in. There are a few scattered throughout the garden but this one bed has really taken off. Does anyone know what it is? If it isn't going to be too competitive than I would like to leave it as a living mulch. It doesn't seem to grow very high and I would much prefer it to some of the other weeds I find.


 
                            
Posts: 22
Location: FL
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I don't know if I'm just bad at it, but I have found identifying plants to be one of the hardest things to learn for gardening. I'm totally a visual learner, and haven't been able to locate a good ID book with color pictures for my area. The plants I have successfully IDed have mostly been from websites that I found by googling for something like "<location> <leaf type or some other pronounced characteristics> weed," so "florida palmate white flower vine weed," etc (don't actually use the quotes in a search engine). Using google image search also helps me too.
 
Kelda Miller
Posts: 769
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good news: it looks like Cleavers! Galium aparine.

oh the so many uses: herbal tea when young. good straw for chickens. original invention of velcro.

Try throwing it at someone, or a nearby animal, if it sticks, it's cleavers.

As a weed it pretty easy to pull out., it's roots are so inconsequential. I bet your goats would love it (though you might want to check it)

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
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kelda wrote:Try throwing it at someone, or a nearby animal, if it sticks, it's cleavers.


  new method for weed identification......."the fling test"  sorry, that struck me as funny. Out to toss some weeds at goats...pretty much like every other day!
 
                          
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Looks like cleaver to me also. Goosegrass I think some call it. If it is cleaver- it doesn't spread too much here in AL but hard to get rid of, and in England it spread medium aggressively and is unpleasant to the touch.
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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From your other posts I think I remember that you're in Oklahoma. There are a variety of plants in the genus Galium including cleavers that folks have mentioned. There are also a bunch of others including Northern bedstraw. I'm not sure which is native to Okalhoma, but it looks to be a Galium for sure.

Dave
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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my first impression was the bedstraw although I didn't go look it up..which i could..

yup..

cleavers, goosegrass, bedstraw..

pick young greens in spring when tender. Steam leafy stems in strainer or colander over boiling water for 5 to 10 min or boil is sm amount of water until tender. Serve with buttr and seasonings. Combines well with nettle greens . for salad take 3 cups boiled and cooled cleavers and add 1 c cooked asparagus cut into 1 " lengths, 1/2 c slivered nuts and 3/4 c french dressing. Gather fruits in June and July when they turn brown. For excelllent noncaffiene coffe substitute roast fruits in warm oven 150 c or 300 f untl dark and crisp about 1 hr. Grind in a blender or crush on any hard surface. Simmer 3/4 c prepared fruits n 1 qt water until med to dark brown, strain and serve.
 
Maryse Cloutier-Gelinas
Posts: 19
Location: Quebec
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This conversation on cleavers took place a while ago, but I was wondering if any of you know about people who actually voluntarily cropped them? They'd be awefully good for my horse, but I'm afraid of their invasive character...
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 488
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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Maryse, it can be rampantly invasive, but it is also about the easiest plant in the world to pull up, the roots are very shallow. Cleavers is an annual, so once you pull it, that particular plant won't resprout.

Sweet woodruff, one of my favorite groundcovers, is also a Galium, but it is perennial. It is grown for its scent, I've never heard whether it is good fodder.
 
Maryse Cloutier-Gelinas
Posts: 19
Location: Quebec
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Wow! Thanks, I wasn't expecting any reply on this one!

I think I will plant some cleavers in strategic places and feed some to my horse about once a week. Its really good for horses with lymphatic problems, and strenghtens their hooves. Mixed with calendula, it will be a perfect recipe. However, a perennial could be real interesting too. I haven't found references as to whether it has similar components as cleavers, but I'll look it up!

Thank you so much for the info...

Now I only need to find a place where they'd sell cleavers seeds. That shouldn't be easy.

 
Maryse Cloutier-Gelinas
Posts: 19
Location: Quebec
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Thanks, for 15.00$ purchases, they do ship to Qu├ębec, which is where I am. We don't seem to have a lot of seed (especially "weeds") sellers here. of course, I'm only beginning in permaculture, so I guess I'll connect with people along the way.

I'm particularly happy to be able to order a couple of other "undesirable species", like compfrey and such!

A thousand thanks for you help!
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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no problem, i used the engine on the left to find those links but the one on the right has the option for selecting either USA or Canada, or both:
http://plantinfo.umn.edu/default.asp
 
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