Yes, it’s another of those international days of celebration. No, this is not a post about marijuana. The Oxford Dictionary defines a weed as a ‘wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’ but I prefer Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition, ‘a weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered’.
So, for the obsessive gardeners out there, remember these:
Weeds provide food and shelter for insects, so they help to provide biodiversity and attract insects that are beneficial to the pollination of non-weeds.
Some weeds are also edible by humans, providing good sources of vitamins and minerals.
Weeds often thrive in impoverished soils and help to restore nutrients to those soils, as well as helping to stabilise the soil surface and prevent erosion.
Some weeds also have the ability to absorb heavy metals so can reduce contamination in industrial wastelands. They’re Nature’s clean-up crew!
Many weeds contain chemicals that are useful in medicines and herbal remedies, and research has shown that some weeds can be used as a source of biofuel.