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Weed Guide

  • Bedstraw

    Galium boreale

    Bedstraw, also called catchweed, is a winter annual. The leaves of bedstraw are formed in whorls containing 6 - 8 leaves around square stems. The leaves are narrow to lanceolate in shape with bristles along the edges. Spines at the base of leaves allow bedstraw to cling to objects. The stems of bedstraw are weak ...

  • Beggar weed

    Desmodium incanum

    Creeping beggerweed is a perennial weed that develops from a large taproot. Creeping beggerweed has many branched runners capable of rooting at nodes along the stems. Leaves are composed of three leaflets of varying sizes. The leaflets are elliptic in shape, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base. Both the ...

  • Bind weed

    Convulvulus arvensis

    Field bindweed is a summer perennial member of the morning glory family. The leaves of field bindweed are arrowhead shaped and appear alternately on long creeping stems. Field bindweed has an extensive root system which may extend up to 15 feet underground.

    Field bindweed is very difficult to c ...

  • Black Medic

    Medicago lupulina

    Black medic is normally a summer annual, but can act as a perennial in some conditions . It has a tap root, and spreads low to the ground, but it does not root from nodes on the stems. Black medic is more active on soils low in nitrogen fertility.

    Good turf management practices, including a balanc ...

  • Broadleaf Plantain

    Plantago major

    Broadleaf plantain is a shallow mostly fibrous rooted perennial. The leaves which develop in a rosette are large oval shaped with predominant veins. Broadleaf plantain is similar to several other plantain species, but does not have the purple color at the petiole of the leaves.

    Broadleaf plantain can ...

  • Buckhorn

    Plantago lanceolata

    Buckhorn plantain is a slender fibrous rooted perennial. The leaves develop in a basal rosette. They are long slender leafs approximately one inch across. The leaves have distinctive parallel venation.

    Buckhorn plantain can be mechanically or physically removed. Care should be taken to assure th ...

  • Bull Thistle

    Cirsium vulgare

    A variety of thistles are found in turf. Like most, bull thistle is a biennial. It grows over the summer months. The leaves are alternate; blades are simple and form in a rosette. The leaves are unlobed to pinnately lobed. The bladetip is pointed and the margins are toothed with spines. The root is a fleshly tap ...

  • Carpet weed

    Mollugo verticillata

    Carpetweed is a summer annual with smooth prostrate branching stems forming circular mats. The leaves are light green in color, lanceolate in shape, being widest in the middle of the leaf and narrow at the tip and base. The leaves form in whorls containing 3 - 8 leaves.

    Carpetweed is a summer a ...

  • Common Chick weed

    Stellaria media

    Common chickweed is a shallow fibrous rooted winter annual which grows in moist shaded areas. The leaves are small, smooth, pointed at the tip and elliptic in shape. They are opposite on branching creeping stems, which root at the nodes. Chickweed adapts well to different mowing heights.
    < ...

  • Crab grass

    Digitaria sanguinalis

    Crabgrass is a summer annual that germinates when soil temperatures reach a consistent 55 degrees F and is generally killed at the first frost. Crabgrass leaves are rolled in the bud; the first leaf appears short, wide and blunt-tipped. The ligule is tall and membranous with jagged edges, and the auricles ...

  • Curly Dock

    Rumex crispus

    Curly dock is a winter perennial. It contains a deep fleshy tap root. In a turf situation the leaves appear in a rosette form. The leaves are actually alternate at the top of the tap root. The oblong leaves have a wavy appearance on their edges.

    Individual curly dock plants can be physically eliminat ...

  • Dandelion

    Taraxacum officinale

    Dandelion is a winter perennial. The dandelion has thick fleshy tap root which often branches. New plants come from the root and root segments. Leaves form in a rosette, are deeply lobed, with the lobes pointing toward the base. Both the leaves and flower stems contain a white milky fluid.

    Dand ...

  • Florida Pusley

    Richardia scabra

    Florida pusley is a summer annual found most often in warm season turfgrass areas. The leaves can be hairy and are grow opposite one another on hairy stems. The growth of Florida pusley in maintained turf areas is usually low and prostrate to the ground, forming thick patches. The growth can be erect with infre ...

  • Goose grass

    Eleusine indica

    Goosegrass is a prostrate-growing summer annual. The leaves are folded in the bud. Goosegrass grows in a clump with the base of the leaves being distinctively white to silver in color. The ligule is toothed, membranous, and divided at the center. Goosegrass contains hairs only at the base of the leaf.

  • Ground Ivy

    Glechoma hederacea

    Ground ivy is a creeping winter perennial. The leaves are round to kidney shaped with round toothed edges. The leaves are opposite on long petiole attached to square stems that root at the nodes. It is usually found in moist shaded areas, but also tolerate sun very well. Ground ivy will form dense mats which ...

  • Henbit

    Lamium amplexicaule

    Henbit, a member of the mint family, is an upright winter annual that blooms in the spring. The leaves are rounded on the end with rounded toothed edges that grow opposite one another on square stems Upper leaves lack petioles. Henbit can grow from 4 to 12 inches tall on weak stems. Although an upright plant ...

  • Knot weed

    Polygonum aviculare

    Prostrate Knotweed is a summer annual, which forms dense patches. Prostrate knotweed is probably the earliest of the summer annuals to germinate in the spring. Prostrate knotweed is often confused with first-leaf crabgrass. Prostrate knotweed is a prostrate weed that produces a thin tap root and multiple bra ...

  • Lespedeza

    Lespedeza striata

    Common lespedeza is a prostrate growing summer annual. Three oblong, smooth leaflets, all joining on a common petiole, have a prominent mid-vein. Stems are wiry, prostrate and freely branching.

    Use of good turf management programs, including a sound fertilization program, to form dense stands of t ...

  • Mallow

    Malva neglecta

    Common mallow ranges from a winter annual to a perennial depending on the location. The spreading stems of mallow grow prostrate with leaves borne on long petioles. Common mallow grows from a thick straight tap root.

    Weekly mowing and low mowing heights will help prevent infestations of mallow. Dens ...

  • Mouseear Chick weed

    Cerastium vulgatum

    Mouseear chickweed is a winter perennial. The leaves are opposite, oblong and covered with hair. Mouseear chickweed grows prostrate but will have several upright stems, and can tolerate close mowing. Mouseear chickweed has a fibrous root system.

    Improved soil drainage can benefit control of mouse ...

  • Oxalis/Yellow Woodsorrel

    Oxalis stricta

    Yellow Woodsorrel, also known as Oxalis, is a summer annual, that can be perennial in some areas. Yellow Woodsorrel grows on weak stems that branch at the base and may root at the nodes. The leaves form in groups of three leaflets on long petioles, and are alternate on the stems. Although sometimes mistaken for c ...

  • Pennywort/Dollar weed


    Pennywort, also called dollarweed, is a summer perennial weed. The leaves of pennywort are round in shape, approximately 1 inch in diameter. The dark green leaves are glossy, with scalloped edges and are on long slender petioles. The petiole of pennywort is attached to the center of the leaf, not to be confused with ...

  • Poison Ivy

    Toxicodendron radicans

    Poison ivy can be an erect woody shrub or a climbing vine. The leaves alternate on red stems. They are glossy and have 3 leaflets 2 - 3 inches long that can be smooth or toothed; leaves turn red in the autumn. As with other members of the Rhus family (poison oak and poison sumac), poison ivy can cause sev ...

  • Poison oak

    Toxicodendron diversilobum

    Poison oak is identified by 1 ½ to 3 inch long leaflets with two to seven deep lobes resembling oak leaves. Lateral leaflets appear without stalks on viny stems about 3 to 4 feet tall. Like poison ivy, leaflets are grouped three per leaf, and flowers are yellowish. Poison oak is found throughou ...

  • Prickly Lettuce

    Lactuca serriola

    Prickly lettuce, also called wild lettuce or compass plant, is a winter annual. The leaves form in a basal rosette. Prickly lettuce has a deep tap root which will exude a milky sap. Prickly lettuce will produce an upright stem on which the leaves will be alternate. The mature leaves are deeply lobed. The leaves ...

  • Purslane

    Portulaca Oleraca

    Purslane is a summer annual with prostrate growth from a tap root and fibrous surface roots. The leaves are thick and waxy, resembling a Jade plant. The leaves usually alternate, with a cluster at the tip of the stem. Stems are thick, red in color, and branch out from a central point, forming a mat up to 1 foo ...

  • Rag weed

    Ambrosia artemisiifolia

    This erect summer annual flowers from August through October, spreading allergy-causing pollen in the air. This plant can be identified by the purple color found on the undersides of its cotyledons. It is similar to giant ragweed, just smaller. This plant prefers full sun, and slightly dry conditions. It ...

  • Sheep Sorrel

    Rumex acetosella

    Red sorrel, also referred to as sheep sorrel, is a summer perennial. The leaves alternate and form a basal rosette. The older leaves are arrowhead shaped with two basal lobes attached to a petiole. Leaves formed along the stem are more elongated and usually lack the basal lobes. The margins of the leaf are smoo ...

  • Shepard\'s Purse

    Capsells bursa-pastoris

    Shepherd\'s-purse is a winter annual. It forms basal leaves as well as alternating stem leaves. The basal leaves are deeply lobed, pointing away from the base. The root of shepherd\'s-purse is a slender taproot, combined with secondary fibrous roots.

    Shepherd\'s purse does not compete with a ...

  • Spurge

    Euphorbia maculata

    Spotted spurge is a summer annual. While similar to prostate spurge, there are several subtle differences in the two varieties. Spotted spurge has a more erect growth habit than prostrate spurge. They have similar leaves, which are small and oblong shaped with an irregular red to purple spot, but the leaf of ...

  • Virginia Button weed

    Diodia virginiana

    Virginia buttonweed is a prostrate-growing perennial with branching hairy stems. The leaves are elongated, lance-shaped and grow opposite one another on the stems and are joined by a membrane. Virginia buttonweed prefers moist, wet conditions.
    Since the Virginia buttonweed plant prefers moist wet conditi ...

  • White Clover

    Trifolium repens

    White clover, found throughout the US, is a shallow rooted winter perennial legume which spreads by stolons or above ground runners. The plant takes root from the stolons at nodes alont the stems when they come in contact with the soil.

    Good turf management practices, including good liming and a ni ...

  • Wild Geranium

    Geranium carolinianum

    Wild geranium, also called Carolina geranium, is a semi-erect winter annual. The erect stems are branching and covered with hair. The alternate leaves are on long petioles and are divided into segmented leaflets which are blunt toothed.

    Individual wild geranium plants can be removed by pullin ...

  • Wild Violet

    Viola pratincola

    Wild violet is a winter perennial, growing 2 - 5 inches tall. It can have a tap root or a fibrous root system, and also can produce rooting stolons and rhizomes. The leaves can vary but usually are heart shaped, on long petioles with scalloped to shallow rounded margins.

    Do not use as an ornamental ...

Courtesy: Voluntary Purchasing Group (VPG).

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