Noxious Weeds – the Outlawed Flowers

Regulations grow at the same rate as weeds.
– Norman Ralph Augustine –

I try to be law abiding, but to be honest, it is a hard thing to do. With so many lawmakers in so many levels of government, there is just no way of knowing whether what I did legally yesterday, is possibly illegal today!

No where is this more true than in the garden. Each year another plant is added to the noxious weed list, and some of them are on the prohibited list.


Probably the most well known noxious weed in farming country is the Canada Thistle. Introduced from Europe, it is a very successful plant. I pull it out by the roots when I find it in my yard, but it is easy to find and admire elsewhere because it is so commonly found. It is beautiful when it flowers!


Though I have been growing these Shasta Daisies for tens of years, they are closely related to the Ox-Eye Daisies, which are considered noxious. I keep my daisies in check by not letting their seeds mature. Someday, I suppose, a plant inspector will find them, and will demand that I remove them.


The Oriental Poppy or Papaver somniferum is best know as the Opium Poppy. It is easy to grow from seed, and in years gone by these plants sometimes popped up in my yard. I’m not sure, really, whether they are illegal to grow here.


The Common Dandelion – in some urban municipalities it has been removed from the noxious weed list, not because it has been eradicated, but because there are worse plants to deal with. Dandelions provide food for a number of animals, insects and birds.

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.
– A. A. Milne –