Flora of Northern Ireland

Arable weeds

Arable farming refers to the growing of annual crops such as potatos, turnips, oil-seed rape, barley, wheat, oats, maize, rye, flax etc. Arable farming makes up a much smaller portion of northern Ireland agriculture today than a century ago, having been largely supplanted by permanent grass for grazing, hay or silage.

Associated with arable fields are certain characteristic weed species, some of which were once quite abundant, but are now very rare or even practically extinct. Examples are:

Corncockle Agrostemma githago practically extinct
Cornflower Centaurea cyanus practically extinct
Gold-of-pleasure Camelina sativa practically extinct
Shepherd's needle Scandix pecten-veneris practically extinct
Fool's parsley Aethusa cynapium practically extinct
Redshank Persicaria maculosa common
Fumitory Fumaria spp. common
Corn poppy Papaver dubium frequent
Shepherd's purse Capsella bursa-pastoris common
Pineapple weed Matricaria discoidea common
Black bindweed Fallopia convolvulus frequent
Corn marigold Chrysanthemum segetum frequent