The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Monday, February 29, 2016


No, I’m not talking about a bird, I’m talking about a plant that appears this time of year.  Henbit is either a pernicious weed or a lovely wild flower, depending on one’s point of view.  Perhaps the henbit seeds do fly in with wind, perhaps it comes in on the feet of little birds, perhaps it just resides in the soil until the soil is disturbed by a hole dug for planting.  All I know is that it is indefatigable, springing up everywhere, appearing with the first mild days of late winter and early spring.  There are a couple of good aspects to henbit:  in a natural area, a swath of henbit, with its tiny purple blooms, is rather lovely; also, it is shallow-rooted and easy to pull.  It’s wonderful that henbit is easy to pull up, because it simply grows everywhere.  Besides indefatigable, another word would be ‘ubiquitous’.

An internet article says that henbit is also edible.  The article mentions that uncooked, it tastes like raw kale.  Kale is a currently popular leafy green vegetable that we have not yet acquired a taste for, so we have no plans to dine on henbit at this time.

Although henbit is not easy to deal with in the garden, it has its uses and its value. 

Rather like some fellow humans that we often encounter:  difficult to know how to deal with, sometimes, but nevertheless of value.

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