I am loving this weed

akaj9(9 Central Florida)September 19, 2011

Okay....so I neglected my garden this summer because of my procrastination on my Koi pond and a new swimming pool build....The Spanish needle TOOK over a large portion of my "naturalistic" garden areas.....But WOW....I am loving it....so many butterflies, Monarch, Queen, Sulphers, White peacocks, a variety of skippers, a very cool cantalope worm moth, DID I mention VERY cool, and a zillion itty bitty tree frogs......I think I have been doing a diservice to nature yanking it out every chance I get....I will definately keep a "large patch" in my butterfly area from now on. We are watching Queens, and Monarch cats now on the Milk weed....also a small green cat of some sort I haven't been able to identify...not sure if he's there for the milk weed or the aphids LOL. I must take some pics...all very exciting!

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks for posting this about Spanish needles - 'sounds like another "weed" that'll go in my "meadows"!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 1:32PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I just looked it up, and it's a very invasive weed that has a thick mat of roots that keeps other plants from growing.
I don't think I want it after all.
The flowers do look like small zinnias, though, so I can see how butterflies love it.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 1:39PM
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I have seen butterflies all over it and have thought about transplanting it for a couple of years. Whenever I see it in ditches around it and have checked it out, it seems to have a singular type root and not matted down. I expect to pull stray ones, but what I see from the plant in the wild it should be less trouble than my passionvine. I'm going to get a couple today.Keep us updated if you start having regrets.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:09AM
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fighting8r(10 Fort Myers Florida)

It's TERRIBLE!!! They like it but not more than beach sunflower, or blanketflower, or many other things. What Sherry said: it has a thick mat and sort of spreads into everything. And if you mow it, it just spreads lower and is even worse. IT'S TERRIBLE! And it will be in everything. Every flower bed, every potted plant, in your house, and the little stickers all over you and your pets, your shoelaces...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:54PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I ordered and planted a beach sunflower in the spring, fighting8r, and I love it. The flowers are so cute the way they face sideways!
Unfortunately, they're not as popular with the butterflies as other nectar plants in my garden, but it'll still have its spot, and I've been spreading the seed in my meadows.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 2:30PM
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akaj9(9 Central Florida)

Oh gosh..... I would never endorse it... In fact it is the biggest headache I have in my garden..... #2 being my passion vine.... But passion vine is beautiful and a butterfly attractant....Spanish needle doesn't compare in beauty.... It is a host for a few smaller skippers, and with all the action it is fun to watch..... The only thing that makes it bearable.... I don't fing the type of roots they say... Mine pull right out root and all, but there are thousands..... So when I say I'll keep some, it's cause I have no choice.... Believe me I pull out way more than I'll keep.... But it is nice to see the benefit to nature.... I'm not so neat and tidy and have some room, leaving weeds in the back half isn't a bad thing really....for me... It does grow lil flowers , feeds the bf's and well is upkeep free.... I can see some good in that.... But that's just me..... If you get it.... U will never ever get rid of it.... It seeds everywhere..... And yes they stick all over you like tag alongside.... Uuugh...... So really think that through... I did not plant it... It is very natural here.... Everywhere

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:42PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Story reminds me of one of my "finds."

Back in the '90s, I was doing some zoning work. Had a property that was surrounded by an overgrown hedge of something that was just covered with butterflies. No one was around to tell me what it was. Sometime later, I found someone in my neighborhood that had the same bushes. The owner told me it was privet. I planned on planting loads of it. Then I found out it is a foreign invasive so no go. Too bad because it is a hostplant for quite a few cool moths on top of being a great nectar plant. Must grow like crazy to withstand all the caterpillars that will eat it.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 10:06PM
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