The following two weeds can be seen along the 1/4 mile trail as well as on several of the new trails in the park: Catchweed Bedstraw often called sticky willy and Herb Robert aka stinky bob!
Catchweed bedstraw, Galium aparine, can be found throughout most of the world. The species name “aparine” comes from a Latin word meaning “to seize,” which is very appropriate considering the clinging nature of this weed. If you’ve ever touched it you’ll recall how ‘sticky’ it feels.
Left on its own, catchweed bedstraw remains low and sprawling, forming dense, tangled mats. Hairlike bristles cover the stems and leaves of the plant; these bristly hairs are responsible for its characteristic tangled growth habit and the “sticky” way it clings to clothing and animals.
There are several areas in the park with thick mats of Catchweed Bedstraw competing for nutrients and water. This is a whimpy plant to pull out. It gives. Be sure to pull from the stem at ground level so that you pull out the root system. Be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves, brush off the stems that stick to your pant legs so that you don’t spread the plant.
Herb Robert Geranium robertianum
This plant is a noxious weed because it competes for nutrients and water with native plants in the forest understory. It minimizes the plant diversity in our woodlands and forests. Where it occurs, there will likely be fewer native herbaceous species. Here is a good description of the plant.
It is also known as stinky bob because of its pungent odor when crushed. It isn’t an ugly plant so many people tend to think the frilly leaves and pleasant pink flower are attractive. It is a low growing plant that is hairy and shallowly rooted. This plant offers virtually no resistance when pulled out. It takes over and spreads quickly.