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Weed World

A Photographic Compilation Of Garden Weeds (& Other Plants) That Can Be Found In The U.K.
(and may be considered a nuisance in vegetable growing allotments or gardens)
I am not an expert in identifying or describing plants, therefor the following information may not be fully correct. Please let me know if you can correct or add any further info to this page.
(An ongoing project)
Stinging nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Grows on most types of ground especially areas containing a high nitrogen content.
The stinging hairs on the nettle can inject histamine & acetylcholine into the skin causing itching & burning. A useful plant in medicine, textiles, food, cosmetics and plant feed. Attracts many insects butterflies and moths. 


Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Grows in many types of ground and particularly well in damp/wet shady places, where it can spread rapidly by runners and seeds. A low lying plant compared with the common buttercup with deep strong roots if left unchecked. Also known as Sitfast and Creeping crowfoot. Notice the creamy white coloured markings on the leaves. Poisonous.

Broad Leaved Dock

 Broad Leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
Grows in many types of ground and diverse areas. There are over 200 species of dock/sorrel. It can re-generate from seed (over 50,000) seeds per plant can develop, or from pieces of root. It is said to alleviate itching/burning sensations from nettle stings if the leaves are rubbed over the affected area of skin. Leaves may contain tannin and oxalic acid.

Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)
Widespread in a variety of habitats, throughout the U.K. and taller than the broad leaved dock with more slender leaves which have curly edges. The seeds are abundant and a reddy brown colour. Contains oxalic acid and has some culinary and medicinal uses.

Sun Spurge

Sun Spurge (Euphorbia heliascopia)
Grows in a variety of places such as fields, wastelands, seems to enjoy my cultivated clay allotment soil (disturbed ground). An annual plant. Several components of the plant are toxic. Can cause various skin problems. Also known as Mad woman's milk and Wart spurge.


Dandelion (Taraxacum Officianale)
Found in a variety of habitats almost worldwide and comes from a very large genus of plants, approximately 250 different varieties. Many uses both medicinally and culinary. Other names: Lions tooth, Irish daisy, Clock flower & many others. A perennial with a strong taproot. Spreads by seeds and will re-grow from pieces of taproot. Ethylene gas is given off by all parts of a dandelion.

Creeping Veronica

 Creeping Veronica (Veronica filiformis)
Known by many common names, such as, Slender speedwell, Creeping speedwell. A native of eastern Europe/western Asia and now introduced to many other countries. A perennial herb generally thought of as a weed. Spreads from stolons.


 Common Groundsel (Senecio)
An annual weed which can be found growing in a variety of habitats such as fields, gardens & grass verges. Yellow flowers and white seed heads. A ragged looking plant. It is native to many countries. There  are many other members of the Genus. It can be toxic but is also used in herbalism and homoeopathy.                                          


  Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) 
 A member of the geranium family which grows in a variety of habitats. This plant grows profusely on and around my allotment on heavy clay soil as well as clay mixed with a high carbon content. Pink flowers, although white flowering  plants can be found. A prostrate form of Herb Robert also exists.                                                                   

Pendulous Sedge (Carex pendula)
Normally grows in damp areas of woodland or close to water sources on clay soils. Many of these native clumping plants are growing alongside the drainage ditch at the lower end of my allotments, close to an old hedgerow. It spreads easily and likes damp areas of soil/ground. Although it is a clumping grass I have included it here. Often planted in garden flower beds and borders.                                                                                                                                                                                         


                           Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)                           
A tallish wildflower with straggly stems and small dandelion looking flowers. It is common throughout Britain and is classed as a weed by many gardeners. Found in several habitats such as waste ground and hedgerows. It is said that the leaves are edible.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum)
One of many species of the solanum group. Classed as a weed which can be toxic to livestock & humans. Some "strains" are known to be used in medicine and cooking. A perennial plant which produces bunches of black berries. The flowers look similar to that of the potato plant. Treat as toxic. This plant was growing in my old raspberry bed.


Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
An annual and member of the mustard family, native to Europe and Asia minor but found almost worldwide. Produces white flowers from a central stem. Has culinary and medicinal uses.

Teazel (Dipsacus fullonum) 
This genus has about 15 species. The plant is native to Asia, Europe & Africa. It can grow to heights over 7 or 8 feet. They have prickly leaves and stems. After they pinkish rounded flower heads have finished blooming a dry head remains containing many seeds, a good food source for birds in particular finches

Fullers teazel (Dipsicus sativus)
I think this is a photograph of the cultivated form of the wild teazel. It was once widely used for raising the nap of woolen cloth. (teasing).

 Bramble (Rubus fruticosis)
Creeping stems covered with thorns. Flowers are white or pinkish white. Produces blackberries. Difficult to uproot once established. Will creep underground and grows in a variety of habitats. A wild flower rather than a weed but can be a nuisance if established in gardens.


 Couch grass (Elymus repens)
A perennial grass which spreads rapidly by underground rhizomes. Also known as scutch or twitch grass. When removing rhizomes all pieces should be removed from the ground otherwise they will re-generate. Self sterile. 


Ivy  (Hedera)
A ground creeping or climbing genus of many species. Native to Africa, most of Europe, Central Asia and parts of the far east. Usually evergreen. Ivies are an  important source of nectar and food for a wide range of wildlife. The berries are moderately toxic to humans.


Lords & Ladies (Arum maculatum)
A woodland plant
known by many different names, a few being, snakeshead, adders root, wild arum, cuckoo pint and jack in the pulpit. The plant has both male and female flowers. The female flowers produce red berries in the Autumn which are poisonous.


Feverfew (Tenacetum parthenium)
Although a perennial herb it could be thought of as a weed as it will easily and quickly self seed and spread given the right sun and soil conditions. Produces white daisy like flowers and has certain medicinal qualities.


Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis)
The common fumitory can be seen growing on well drained soils both on arable and waste land in many locations. An annual which is self-fertile and can spread rapidly. Medicinally useful. Its flower tufts are a spiky pink, topped with purple, above delicate looking foliage.  


Chickweed (Stellaria media)
A cool season annual forming large mats of foliage and producing small white flowers. It is edible but other similar looking genuses of chickweed which are not edible. The plant has several medicinal uses.


Daisy  (Bellis perennis)
Also known as the common daisy, English daisy, to distinguish it from many related plants. A European native but widely found elsewhere. A low lying plant commonly found in lawns, which has a long flowering season. Has several culinary and medicinal uses.

Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)
A low growing perennial plant of the buttercup family of which there are 2 types. Usually flowering from March to May. It usually prefers damp shady areas for growth.

Cleavers (Galium aparine)
An annual with several other names including Goosegrass, Catchweed and Sticky Willy. A creeping straggly plant which produces whitish flowers. Widespread in many countries and continents. The plant is edible but can also cause dermatitis. Cleavers have some medicinal and other uses. 

Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
A member of the mustard family native to Europe & Asia. Annual or biennial. Likes damp ground. Known by other names such as, hoary bittercress, flick weed, shot weed.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
A Winter annual or biennial which produces small white flowers on top of its stems. The roots and newer leaves smell of garlic. Also known as poor mans mustard, Jack by the hedge as well as other names. Considered an invasive species in many states of N. America. A British native.

Black medick (Medicago lupulina)
 Also known as nonesuch, it is closely related to clovers. Often mistaken for clover it bears yellow flowers and is an annual or biennial. It has a tap root and is a legume.

White Clover (Trifolium repens)
Is a broad leaved perennial plant of the bean family. Widespread worldwide and considered as a good green manure. Fixes nitrogen into the soil and can be used as a forage crop. Bumblebees can often be seen on white clover.

Creeping thistle (Circium arvense)
Two varieties exist. They have a multitude of other names. An herbaceous perennial plant with an extensive spreading underground root system which sends up shoots. Difficult to eradicate as each broken piece of root is likely to regenerate. It is designated as an injurious weed in the U.K. as well as an invasive species and noxious weed in various other countries. It attracts a variety of insects and its seeds provide food for certain birds. Roots may spread over an area of 12 meters per year and weigh approximately 2 tonnes per hectare. Seeds are viable in the ground for many years.

Plantain (Greater) (Plantago major)
Can be found in many and varied habitats almost worldwide. A very useful medicinal plant with edible leaves. The plant is high in calcium and contains vitimins A,C and K.

Silverweed (Argentina anserina)
A perennial of the rose family with a low growing creeping from stolons habit. Its flowers are yellow in colour.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)
 An annual herb with hairy stems and leaves. I believe this photograph is of the Sticky mouse ear chickweed rather than the more common, Common Mouse ear. Flowering from April to September the white flowers are usually clustered together.

Marestail (Equisetum arvense) 
This is a perennial weed which produces spores rather than seeds. It spreads by deep underground rhizomes. It can exist in a variety of habitats and is difficult to eradicate even using weed killers. A plant that has existed since prehistoric times. 

Yarrow (Achillea millifolium)
Listed here because it can become invasive spreading by rhizomes. A tallish plant with feather like leaves that can be found in many gardens and other habitats. Also known as milfoil, nosebleed amongst others, with quite a few varieties and sub-species. Attracts many beneficial insects and is extremely useful in many herbal remedies. Not to be confused with water hemlock or water parsnips.

Wood avens (Geum urbanum)
Also known as Herb bennet and Colewort. This plant has many and varied medicinal and culinary values. Mainly found growing in woodlands or hedgerows. It is self fertile with male and female organs. Small yellow flowers.

Smooth sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
A native weed which prefers a disturbed soil habitat. It can vary in colours depending on levels of light/shade. It has certain herbal uses. Usually hollow stemmed and easily weeded out by hand.

Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
A fast growing perennial which can quickly become invasive.  Known by many other names including goutweed and herb gerard. It is a rhizomas plant which is difficult to eradicate. Any broken roots, rhizomes are likely to re-generate if left in the soil. Its leaves are similar looking to those of the elder tree. Supposedly introduced by the Romans the leaves are edible and it is useful as a medicinal herb.

Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)
A biennial plant which can grow to a height of around 2.0 meters producing yellow daisy like flowers. Known by many other names such as stinking willie and cushag. It attracts many insects during its flowering season, some of them being endangered, rare or threatened species. It can be poisonous to certain animals.

Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
With several other names such as lambs tongue and narrowleaf plantain it is a perennial herb. It has several herbal/medicinal uses. The short oval white flower heads appear on individual thin stalks.

Selfheal (center) (Prunella vulgaris)
Often classed as a weed, but actually a herb, which can be found in many lawns as well as a variety of other habitats. It has a history of many and varied medicinal uses. Its flowers are a purple blue colour, sometimes white or pink.  

Forget me not (the blue flowered one) (Myosotis)
A member of the boraginaceae family with over 70 species. Flowers are small and can be blue, pink, white or yellow.

Cats-ear (I think) (Hypochaeris radicata)

Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)
A short lived perennial plant with several other names, one being Queen Ann's lace. Quick growing and commonly seen alongside roads it prefers a semi shaded habitat.

Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
Do not mistake the giant hogweed for this one or vice-versa. Various habitats such as wasteland, hedgerows and the borders of woodlands and fields. A member of the carrot family with several sub-species. Handling this plant can cause phytophotodermatitis, beware.

Shining Cranesbill (I think) (Geranium lucidum)
Shiney leaved as the name suggests with a sprawling habit, prefers a limestone habitat. 

Prickly sow thistle (Sonchos asper)
Also known as spiny sow thistle and a few other similar names. An annual with shiny green/grey blue leaves and a yellow flower resembling that of a dandelion. Can be found growing in various habitats such as roadsides, hedgerows and meadowland. Edible leaves and a good food source for rabbits and some other animals.

Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
From approximately 20 plus species in the Primulaceae family. Usually growing in various uncultivated habitats almost worldwide, where it can be seen sprawled and spread across the ground. Extremely useful in herbal medicine. Spreads from seeds.

Tufted vetch (Vicia cracca) (Center of picture in the grass)
Native to Europe & Asia. A purple/blue flowered plant with a climbing habit and gripping tendrils. Similar to the hairy vetch. Spreads quickly and can be found in such habitats as waste ground, roadsides fields and hedgerows. 

Periwinkle Apocynaceae family (Vinca)
The variegated low growing type. It spreads quickly and densely and is usually planted in beds and borders as ground cover. A haven for slugs and snails 

Lungwort (Pulminaria officinalis)
From the Boraginaceae family with over 10 wild species. Usually with an upright stem and creeping underground rhizomes. Spotted leaves of various shapes/sizes which are usually hairy. A food source for some species of butterflies and moths.

Cut leaved cranes-bill (Geranium dissectum)
A native plant of Europe and a species of the genus Geranium. Introduced to other countries outside of Europe and can be found in a variety of habitats. Useful in herbal medicine.

Lamb's quarters (Chenopodium album)
An annual weed which is cultivated in some countries. It is also known by several other names such as fat hen and goosefoot. Widely used as a leaf vegetable in various countries and feed for certain animals.

Hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)
A perennial tall growing herb with nettle like hairy none stinging leaves. The plant in this photograph has been growing in my herb pot, next to some Lemon balm, for several years, flowering from early June until late Summer. It attracts many bees and various insects.

Field poppy (Papaver)
Single scarlet flower in its basic form. Also known by several other names such as, corn poppy, Flanders poppy red poppy. Self seeds very easily.

Hartstoungue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)
Usually growing in shaded habitats this evergreen fern prefers lime rich soil and can often be seen growing in crevices of old buildings and walls. 

Coltsfoot (Tussilago)
This plant flowers before the leaves appear, usually very early in the year. A member of the daisy family with large green leaves shaped like a horses (colt) foot. 

Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea)
A native of N. America & N.E. Asia, but also found elsewhere. Useful medicianally the plant has a cone shaped head prior to white flowers with a yellow centre, blooming. Several habitats.

Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
A perennial twining plant found in a variety of habitats. White trumpet shaped flowers. Known by many other names.

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Either  narrow or slightly broader leaved varieties with white/pinkish coloured, trumpet shaped flowers. Also known as withy vine amongst several others. A real nuisance on cultivated ground and difficult to eradicate, it can choke other plants.


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