Weeds versus ruderals

Nick Greatorex-Davies ngd at ceh.ac.uk
Fri Dec 14 11:25:03 EST 2001

René Boutin wrote:

>>> RENE BOUTIN <rboutin at sympatico.ca> 14/12/01 15:00:42 >>>
Maybe we should change the name to milkruderal versus milkweed,maybe you would understand better.
                                                René ,Quebec, Canada

Good point René! Being so familiar with the name Milkweed I hadn't noticed that! Milkweed eh? Better spray 'em, mow them, dig them up then! :-)

Actually I think I can cope with MilkWEED. The fact that many plants have 'weed' in their common name presumably reflects the attitude of many of our ancestors to any plant that did not have any known benefit to humans. However judging by some of the plants that include 'weed' in their vernacular name, perhaps the word 'weed' did not carry the negative connotations that it does now (at least here in the UK) and just meant 'wild' as opposed to 'cultivated'. Anyway I am sure that in this more (perhaps) enlightened age, we (the enlightened ones) see things from a broader perspective than that. But to many, the mention of the word 'weed' means only one thing: 'get rid of it - it is of no value and might be harmful'. So I prefer to use the collective term 'ruderal' and only use 'weed' when I mean 'weed' (except in the case of plant common names that contain 'weed').


Nick Greatorex-Davies
CEH Monks Wood, Huntingdon


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