Definition of poverty-weed in US English:

poverty-weed

noun

  • 1English regional (Isle of Wight), field cow wheat, Melampyrum arvense, formerly a serious weed in parts of the Isle of Wight (now historical).

  • 2United States regional any of various plants that grow as weeds on poor soil, chiefly of the family Asteraceae, especially the marsh elder, Iva axillaris.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in James Halliwell (1820–1889), antiquary and literary scholar.