by Carl Strang
On Friday I went up to the former friary site at Mayslake Forest Preserve to check on the progress of plant growth there. Most prominent were a number of weeds, some of which already were flowering. I was pleased to see my tentative identification of barnyard grass proved out.
The other dominant species was velvetleaf, though none of those I saw were flowering yet.
A very few crabgrass plants also were present, along with a few quick-growing nut sedges.
Other plants also were additions to the preserve list.
Another new one was the green amaranth.
It’s easy to disparage such weedy species, but I found myself remembering how Tom Brown calls them “scab plants.” They grow quickly, protecting the wounded soil and sequestering carbon and minerals until giving way to more competitive perennials. I’m looking forward to seeing the longer-term native plants that were seeded here.