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A collection of plants on a recently dug area

A collection of plants on a recently dug area

This is a collection of plants that I have recently weeded from my allotment garden. The sad thing is that I thought I had already done this job in August after harvesting the potatoes! What is striking is the range of plant families collected from a small plot. Starting bottom left and working clockwise we have, 1.Asteraceae 2.Ranunculaceae 3.Poaceae 4.Asteraceae 5.Brassicaceae 6.Scrophulariaceae 7. Poaceae and 8.Asteraceae.

These represent some of our most successful plants that are quickly able to colonise open ground but what is striking from this photo is the range of different shapes and sizes they form. Although I thought I had successfully weeded the ground in August, the most abundant plant, a speedwell (Scrophulariaceae) virtually covered the soil. It has probably spread from small seedlings that I missed or even seeded itself. In contrast the large rosette  of the dandelion (Asteraceae) may have grown from a small fragment of tap root that broke off as the original plant was pulled out of the ground.  Another strategy has been adopted by the grass (Poaceae) at the top of the photo, which has spread vegetatively with its fast growing surface runners.