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Plants Without Virtue
by Bob Hartzler
May 15, 2000 - Ralph Waldo Emerson once described a weed as "Any plant whose virtures have not been discovered". The following ad appeared in the Ames Tribune recently. I wonder if this means that common milkweed should no longer be considered a weed since these researchers obviously feel the plant has some virtue? The ad does demonstrate one thing about weeds that weed scientists often struggle with - when you want to grow weeds in order to study them, they can be some of the most fickle plants around.
Prepared by Bob Hartzler, extension weed management specialist, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University
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