"much overgrown with burdock, pig-weed, apple-peru, and such unsightly vegetation "
Burdock
Creative Commons AttributionBurdock - Credit: pi_mento

These aggressive weeds are a common sight on waste ground and for Hawthorne represent ruin and decay. Burdock, a type of thistle with a sprawling, unweildy habit, can grow up to seven feet and is known for the prickly burrs that are so tricky to extricate from hair and clothing. Pigweed, a red-stemmed leafy plant, is the bane of farmers and gardeners as it has a habit of springing up in freshly-turned earth and quickly taking over. Aesthetically, apple of Peru is a bewitching plant, producing huge, black, lantern-shaped seed-pods from which issue delicate purple bells. The effect, however, is marred by the fetid odor they emit as part of their defence strategy, while the fact that they germinate continuously makes them a cause of serious infestations.

Pigweed
Public DomainPigweed - Credit: Francisco Manuel Blanco

 

Apple of Peru
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeApple of Peru - Credit: Dandelion And Burdock