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 –

27 thoughts on “Noxious Weeds – the Outlawed Flowers

  1. Beautiful pictures. It’s funny because my daughter loves the thistle here, too–it’s her favorite color. It may be a weed, but to her it’s pretty enough to pick and bring inside to put in a vase!


    1. Thanks Maine – If the Scottish Thistle can be the emblem of a country, thistles in this country should be given at least the recognition of how beautiful they are!


  2. Hi Margie,
    The pictures you have posted are beautiful flowers, I love the deep red in the oriental poppy, and I’m a daisy lover from way back, they always look nice in a garden.
    There always seems to be a long list of plants that are not allowed, we also have a number of trees that have been banned for various reasons as well. I admit I have never gone out of my way to find out what is new on the list from the powers that be.


    1. Hi Mag – Fortunately we don’t have any trees that have been banned. Here on the edge of the prairies, we are thankful for anything that will grow into a tree.


  3. Hi Margie–love your blog and just clicked on the ‘follow’ link so that I’ll know when you post something new. Keep up the great work, and isn’t it nice that we ‘silver-haired’ ladies are going strong!


  4. I’ll send you some photo’s of weeds! My front garden in particular has completely taken over. I can’t even see part of my yard through the front window for all the greenery! They are not even weeds, I planted the grapes that are half way over the roof. Not sure what plant party they are trying to get to in the back yard.


    1. Hi Christie – I guess that is what happens at your place when you leave for a month! I’ve neglected my yard for the past month too, but nothing has gotten totally out of control!


    1. Thanks Pegoleg! I had thought you might use the term “Mercy, Margie” – but “Jeez, Louise” is much more colorful…


  5. We too pull out the noxious weeds from our yard. Fortunately, their roots are shallow so they’re easy to remove. The problem for me is that their pollen gets into my nose and throat and chokes me… so I have to wear a mask when I handle them. Bill


    1. Hi Bill – Fortunately we don’t have any plants with choking pollen! The biggest danger in our woods is stinging nettle. Then there is blue bur – a very pretty little blue flower, but the resulting burs stick very firmly to clothing and cats.


        1. Hi Bill – We helped a friend harvest stinging nettle last year. When dried, the leaves were used to make tea. That was the first time I viewed it as anything other than a plant to avoid at all cost!


    1. Hi EC – Our county has weed inspectors who monitor weed populations in ditches and fields. If they can see into a private yard, they can also request the removal of noxious weeds. Our yard is too well treed for the inspectors to see what I grow, but my friend has a front yard that can be seen from the road and she was told she had to remove her Shasta Daisies.


  6. Hi, Margie… Wow! I didn’t know that you can make tea from Stinging Nettle. I too though of the plant as “only bad.” Perhaps there’s a message — If we look deep enough, we can find some good. I like that. Bill


  7. These are beautiful even if they might be ‘illegal’. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a weed inspector (well not that sort anyway!) There are houseplants sold here in the UK which are kind of ‘single-grow’ only, they’re imports that one isn’t allowed to cultivate so it gets very sad when they begin to die.


    1. Hi Val – I agree, there are definitely two kinds of weed inspectors!
      I wasn’t aware there were houseplants that one shouldn’t propogate. I would have thought that as long as I didn’t try to sell it under a trademarked name, I could do whatever I wanted with it. But I suppose the rules vary from country to country!


  8. Beautiful pictures. Ahhh it’s blissful where I live. We have no such laws and we allow weeds to flourish. The Gulf Islands experienced and influx of younger back to the land couples in the 70’s and that saved us all. Organic gardenting and companion planting herbs and “weeds” are the status quo here. There are no commercial “agri-businesses”. We are working in restoring bothe honeybee and Mason bee habitat. They pollinate wildflowers milkweed, thistles, nettles, garden plants, crops, flowers and orchards.


    1. Hi timethief – A number of back to the land couples didn’t quite make it to the Gulf Islands. I was in Nelson a few weeks ago, and many of them, and their children and grandchildren, seem to live there! It was like stepping back into the ’70’s!
      The prairies are experiencing an organic, small crop resurgence. With Farmers Markets in most small towns and large cities, small producers are able to market their crops to an appreciative public.


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