Fifth Annual Fascination of Plants Day 2019

In celebration of Fascination of Plants Day, we asked a few members of our Board of Directors what their favorite weed is and why and thought we’d share some of their responses. 

For more information on the Fifth Annual Fascination of Plants Day, Saturday, May 18, 2019 visit 

What is your favourite weed and why?

Dr. Rory Degenhardt – President

“Dead ones.  Enough said.  I’ve got a high degree of respect for kochia (Bassia scoparia) due to its plasticity, genetic diversity and fantastic weedy traits.  And I will always have a special place in my heart for field violet (Viola arvensis), which is the weed I researched during my MSc.”

Jessica Weber – Member at Large – West

“My favorite weed is wild oats (Avena fatua). Although most producers would cringe at this answer, I marvel at the structure and craftiness of this weed.  There are several key features that I am fascinated by including its resistance to herbicides, its ability to drop seed and twist into the ground to ensure its survivability, as well as the ability to “hook” onto by-passers to aid in its transfer. And lastly, its ability to out-compete most crops and weeds. In my opinion, this weed is by far the feistiest and most resistant.”

Dr. François Tardif – First Vice President

“I have more than one favourite; I have done a lot of work on Amaranthus sp., giant ragweed, Eastern-black nightshade, foxtails and giant hogweed. Currently, we are focusing on lamb’s quarters and Canada fleabane (Erigeron canadensis). Each weed I have worked with has special and unique adaptations that contribute to their success and this is truly fascinating.”

And of course, we’d be remiss not to mention Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), the flower of which is one-half of our society logo.  Canada thistle was introduced to Canada from Europe and has since become ubiquitous in Canada as it spread west. A perennial plant that is tough to control once it is established, it takes a concerted integrated pest management strategy to control (and live with).

Want to let us know what your favourite weed is? Send us a comment below.