Half of the weeds people pull from the garden are by definition flowers. And many flowers that people decorate their gardens with are weeds. How so?
Well, the distinction between flowers is not as divergent as one might think. A young child plucking a dandelion sees it as a bright and pretty flower, while others see it as an intrusive weed. The definition of weed to most gardeners comes down to a matter of an opinion because though these types of flora have many differences they also have many qualities that are the same.
Weeds and flowers both grow in the soil and require water, sunlight, and proper nutrients in order to survive. Their seeds spread by birds, wildlife, or nature (eg. the wind) and attract insects like butterflies and bees. Animals like deer have a taste for weeds and flowers and ingest them regularly.
Both types of flora can grow in bush form (like the Milkweed plant) or as a ground-sprawler (like Purslane). When they start to sprout from the ground as seedlings, plants and flowers even look very much alike.
The differences between weeds and flowers mostly ‘stem’ from opinion. There are certain plants like Queen Anne’s Lace and Black Eyed Susans which are deemed weeds by some and flowers by others. Weeds are seen as intrusive because they are unwanted in certain areas, like a garden or a flower bed.
But even weeds have different distinctions. “Weedy plants” are those that spread quickly, but are native to the environment and are non-threatening to other plants. “Invasive plants” are not native to the area and pose a threat to other plants.
There are some defining characteristics of weeds that people can agree on. Weeds are able to spread quickly like the infamous Dandelion and intrude on environments where they are not wanted.
In other words, they are uninvited guests. They are vigorous competitors for light and water and will compete with both flowers and other weeds for their survival needs. They are sturdy and able to survive in a multitude of environments.
Weeds like people are tricky to define. Their location and the needs of the humans living around them often determine whether these plants are going to be classified as friends or foes. A plant to one person might be called a weed, while to another person the same plant might be called a beautiful flower.
Both weeds and flowers can grow in the same settings and have the same requirements for life: sunlight, water, and proper nutrients. They both attract animals and can produce flowers that encourage insects to visit them. Weeds are alike in many ways, with just a few distinctions that allow them to remain unique.
This essay is an example of a compare and contrast essay. The topic is weeds and flowers and the thesis statement of this writing piece is quite simple: that weeds and flowers are alike in many ways. (“The definition of weed to most gardeners comes down to a matter of an opinion because though these types of flora have many differences they also have many qualities that are the same.”). The essay explains that the definition of weed often comes down to a matter of opinion and that a plant described as a ‘weed’ is not always a true fact.
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