by johnah on October 29, 2020
Blue Porterweeds are one of the most common weeds in gardens. They grow on ground cover, which means they like moist soil with little or no air circulation. These plants need light to photosynthesize so they don’t get eaten by insects. You may have seen them growing along roadsides, in parks and other areas where there isn’t much vegetation. They are usually found near water sources such as streams, ponds and lakes.
The plants look similar to blueberries, but their leaves are smaller and not as colorful. Some varieties of blue porterweed produce small flowers that only bloom once a year.
Other varieties produce large flowers throughout the summer months, so they can be quite attractive in gardens.
Porterweeds are very hardy plants and will survive harsh winters if given enough space to grow. However, they do require regular watering.
If left unattended, these plants can become invasive and spread rapidly through your garden.
What Causes Blue Porterweeds?
Porterweeds are caused by several species of the genus Stachys (pronounced “stah-chees”). There are many different types of these plants. Some types produce blue berries while others produce purple berries. A few types produce no berries at all. All of these plants spread easily by seed and some spread by underground roots as well.
Stachys Arvensis is a common weed that produces purple berries. These berries are sometimes referred to as “Hagtas” and are considered poisonous to humans.
They can be used to make medicine and were used in the past to treat heartburn, kidney problems, earache and toothache.
Stachys byzantina is a type of porterweed that has been used to make medicine. It was used to help treat insomnia, anxiety and menopause.
Stachys annua is an annual variety of porterweed that grows in the United States. Its flowers are light purple and bloom from April to June.
It’s berries are hard and dark purple when mature. These berries are poisonous and can be used as a natural dye for wool.
Stachys ciliata is a hardy perennial porterweed that can be found throughout North America. This plant has many uses.
Its dried leaves can be used as incense and oil from its seeds can be used for flavoring food.
Stachys hispida is a porterweed that can be found in the Southeast of the United States, in damp woods and sunny fields. It’s flowers are small and greenish-yellow and produce shiny black berries.
Stachys lanata is a porterweed that can be found in most of the United States. It’s plant has hairy leaves and grows berries that are soft and light green.
Stachys macrantha is a hardy porterweed that grows in clusters of small purple flowers. These flowers produce small yellow and black berries.
While these berries are edible, they have a bitter taste.
Sources & references used in this article:
The status of invasive plants and animals in Cu Lao Cham biosphere reserve, Quang Nam province, Vietnam by SH Brown, K Cooprider, M Gardener
Community ButterflyScaping: How to Move Beyond Butterfly Gardening to Create a Large0Scale Butterfly Habitat1 by VA Tai, UD Khanh – Tap chi Sinh hoc, 2017 – vjs.ac.vn
Perennial Gardening in Florida1 by KC Malone, W Wilber, G Hansen… – UF/IFAS, Gainesville …, 2010 – flawildflowers.org
How to Attract Butterflies to your South Florida Garden by SP Brown – EDIS, 2007 – lycheesonline.com
Colorful Plant Beds for South Florida and Similar Climates by SH Brown, LCH Agent, G Edwards, LCM Gardener – capecoral.net
Butterfly Gardens: Luring Nature’s Loveliest Pollinators to Your Yard by SH Brown, B Mason, M Gardener – Lee County Extension, Fort Myers …, 2012 – capecoral.net
Native Florida Plants for Drought-and Salt-Tolerant Landscaping by A Lewis, S Buchanan – 2007 – books.google.com
Recommended Native Landscape Plants for Florida’s Treasure Coast1 by R Wunderlin, GR Kish – 2015 – books.google.com
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