Just Weeds: History, Myths, and Uses

Pamela Jones, Author Prentice Hall $29.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-13-514118-2
At last, a book that justifies not spending endless days trying to eradicate the usually unwanted, nearly always useless plants called weeds. Many of Jones's ( How Does Your Garden Grow ) weeds are in fact considered wildflowers (yarrow, Queen Anne's laceWeb ) or herbs (purslane, watercress), and in her view they're quite all right. Partly due to Jones's obvious delight in rescuing unheralded orphans of nature, they gradually win our respect as we read about the many uses, historical and modern, of the plants. Ground ivy, for example, was employed by the Saxons in clarifying beer before hops were known; the juice of its leaves, high in vitamin C, was prized in treating scurvy. The various virtues Jones extols may not convince all gardeners to actually cultivate weeds, but may induce a less deadly fanaticism in pulling them. As well as providing detailed descriptions of each weed, the author includes a helpful appendix of folk remedies (for acne, freckles, warts) and an exhaustive list of common names. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-881527-58-9
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