Common Groundsel goes by many names - Old-Man-In-The-Spring, bird-seed, grimsel to name a few.
It is an introduced species to North America and has spread invasively across the country - most likely due to it being used as food for pet canaries as was the trend to keep them.
This plant begins to bloom and spread its seed in early spring and continuing into late autumn sometimes producing three to four generations in one season!
Animals large and small will eat this weed (except horses and sheep who are much pickier). It is safe for smaller animals to eat but can cause liver damage in horses and cattle.
As with many introduced species this one too comes with a laundry list of claims to fix this, that, and another thing, here are some...
- Groundsel was good for wounds as had been caused by being struck by iron.
- As a remedy for chapped hands, pour boiling water on the fresh plant, the liquid then forms a pleasant swab for the skin and will remove chapping.
- For gout it was recommended to 'pound it with lard, lay it to the feet, and it will alleviate the disorder.'
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Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.