I can’t say what it is about weeds that l have always loved – although they are loosely defined a kind of hobby of mine? Perhaps it is quite simply because they are misunderstood like some animal species. Whatever your opinion or view is on weeds, they are everywhere, and they are here to stay.

Most weeds are harmless, not all. Of course, some are and can be deadly. The fact is that people don’t like weeds because they don’t belong where they usually appear or are out of place. Many a time, gardeners especially don’t want them because weeds tend to grow quicker and easier than many ornamental flowers.

Weeds have a way of surviving. They are ONLY considered weeds on the domestic level because, let’s be honest, when we are out walking in the countryside, how many people are bothered by the presence of weeds then?

There are advantages and disadvantages to having weeds in your gardens and yards. They do have a lot of benefits that many people tend to ignore, and this series will highlight that.

The Beauty of Weeds

Companion Plantings
Encouraging wildlife
Fertilising and enriching the soils
Providing and active Mulch/Soil protection
Attracting pollinators and good insects
Repelling pests
Food source for animals and humans
Serves as decoy crops
Great for wildlifing the garden
Soil conditioning

Designs – Earthly Comforts – Inspired by Nature – see collection here

Species Guide Directory


Smyrnium olusatrum

Images my own

Alexanders is the common name for Smyrnium olusatrum, and it is an edible plant that grows abundantly or invasively around these parts of coastal Kent. It is best seen between April to June. The plant, also known as horse parsley, can be eaten.

It is known as Alexanders and also Black Lovage, Horse Parsley, and Wild Celery.

It is a tall biennial plant that towers above other plants it companions with and measures between three to five-foot. It is a very leggy or stemmy shiny green plant with light yellowish green flower clusters that smell like celery.

It is sometimes confused with Keck or Cow Parsley. Foragers favour this ancient food as they use it in raw and cooked form, and it can be added to soups and broths.

The Latin Smyrnium olusatrum means parsley of Alexander.

Bees and other pollinators love it.

I hope you enjoyed A is for Alexanders and I’ll see you again soon.

The Autistic Composter

Species Guide Directory

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

12 thoughts on “Alexanders

  1. The problem nowadays is that one never knows what they may have been sprayed with. I would hesitate to forage in an area I didn’t know for sure was safe. For instance, roadsides in the states are not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmmm well I do think I have some weeds around? It’s been too hot to be outside

    Today is first drop in temp … 106 yesterday… 89 today 🤨… but oh thank god! Ahhh

    My weeds are not like yours… mine are mean hardy mean looking things that do prick you with things 😳

    Liked by 1 person

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