A Weed Exists Only If Unwanted

A weed is not a weed once you have loved the plant. Wikipedia defines weed as a plant that is considered undesirable in a particular situation. It is a plant that you do not want to grow in your garden. It is aggressive because it keeps on growing in your lawn, pot of earth, and even on rocks and walls even if after you have pulled it out to the roots. It is invasive because it grows with your other plants.

A weed may not look pretty in your garden but some weeds may have other uses and really look good in your lawn.

The first time I visited Canada in spring, I saw the side roads manicured with yellow flowers. My friend told me that those flowers are called dandelions. They are considered ligaw or damo in Tagalog terms, which means “wild or weed.” They were not planted there on purpose. They just grow there. Dandelion is considered a weed.

Dandelion is edible. According to Wikipedia, the dandelion leaves can be eaten like vegetable, its petals are used to make wine, and its roots, when roasted, serve like coffee. The plant contains vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, calcium, iron and manganese. So, a dandelion ceases to be a weed when you start growing them on purpose. Once you use it for medicinal purpose, you may now call it a plant with “herbal remedies.”

Some weeds have medicinal uses. For example, the Chinese and Japanese knotweeds are a popular ingredient of anti-aging beauty cream and lotion. In the Philippines, a weed called tawa-tawa or snake weed is now being referred to as a “wild herb” because of its potential to treat patients with dengue. Also in the Philippines, particularly in Baguio, a flower called asters are sold in flower shops. These are actually flowers of a weed.

With Or Without Weed
Weed on caimito trunk

In my backyard, this type of weed grows in a pot where I planted a persimmon seed. Look how the weed graciously adorns the caimito (kayimito, starapple) trunk.

So, the next time you find a weed in your garden, if it looks pretty, keep it. If it is medicinal, grow it. BUT, if it is poisonous and unsafe to children, go ahead pull it off to the roots.

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