Weed Identification Guide

Weed Identification Guide

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Bindweed

Type 
Broadleaf perennial

Size
Climbs 6 feet or more

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in sun

Identify Weeds
Bindweed has arrowhead-shape leaves on twining vines. The garden weed bears white to pale pink morning glory-type flowers.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent bindweed. Repeatedly chop down growing bindweed plants and/or treat with

Black Medic

Type
Broadleaf annual or short-lived perennial

Size
1-2 feet tall, 1 foot wide

Where it grows
Poor, dry, soil in full sun

Appearance
Black medic has clover-type leaves and small, yellow flowers.

Control
Mulch to prevent black medic in gardens. Pull weeds by hand or use a postemergence herbicide. Discourage it by keeping the soil well watered and amended with organic matter (such as compost).

Black Nightshade

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
2 feet tall, 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Landscape or garden areas with rich soil in sun or shade

Appearance
Black nightshade can be a bushy or climbing plant with white or purple flowers and purple or red fruits.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent black nightshade. Pull the weed by hand or treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Burweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
3/4 inch long and 1/2 inch wide

Where it grows
Lawn and garden areas.

Appearance
Tiny sharp-needled seeds and small feathery leaves that have the appearance of parsley

Control
Manually remove the weed by pulling up the root; however, this should be done before seeding. It can also be controlled with herbicides that target broadleaf plants. Aerating the soil also tends to reduce the presence of Lawn Burweed.

Canada Thistle

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Where it grows
Sunny lawn, landscape, or garden areas

Appearance
Canada thistle has spiny, gray-green leaves and purple flowers.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent it in landscape areas. Use a postemergence herbicide in lawns in spring or fall, or dig the weed out by hand.

Chickweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
6 inches tall, 12 inches wide

Where it grows
Lawn, garden, and landscape areas with rich, moist soil in sun or shade

Appearance
Chickweed creates lush green mats studded with small, star-shape flowers.

Control
Mulch to prevent chickweed in gardens or use a preemergence herbicide in early spring. Pull weeds by hand.

Crabgrass

Type
Grassy annual

Size
To 18 inches tall and 20 inches wide

Where it grows
Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun or shade

Appearance
Crabgrass is exactly what it sounds like: a grassy weed. This lawn weed grows roots anywhere the stem makes soil contact. Seed heads spread out like four fingers.

Control
Mulch your lawn to prevent crabgrass or use a preemergence herbicide; pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective postemergence herbicide.

Creeping Charlie

Type
Grassy annual

Size
4 inches tall, several feet wide

Where it grows
Shady lawn, landscape, or garden areas

Appearance
Creeping Charlie groundcover has scalloped leaves and clusters of purple flowers in late spring.

Control
Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent creeping charlie. Pull plants by hand or spray with a postemergence herbicide in spring or fall.

Dallisgrass

Type
Grassy perennial

Size
To 18 to 45 inches tall

Where it grows
Lawns, golf courses and other turf areas statewide.

Appearance
Distinct grayish-green color, a membranous ligule, and a few sparse hairs on the leaf collar.

Control
Pull plants by hand or treat with a post emergence herbicide.

Dandelion

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
12 inches tall, 6 - 16 inches wide

Where it grows
Lawns and gardens in sun or shade

Appearance
This common lawn weed has a strong taproot; leaves are deeply notched. Yellow flowers mature to puffballs. Dandelion seeds are like parachutes that fly away in the wind—they're the plants that you would blow on and "make a wish" when you were younger.

Control
Mulch to prevent dandelions in gardens. Pull dandelion weeds by hand or use a postemergence herbicide in lawns.

Dayflower

Type
Annual grass relative

Size
To 30 inches tall and wide

Where it grows
Sunny or shady landscape areas

Appearance
Dayflowers have dark green leaves clasping a stem and brilliant blue flowers through the summer.

Control
Mulch the garden to prevent weeds or use a preemergence herbicide in spring. Pull weeds by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective postemergence herbicide.

Dock

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade

Appearance
Dock produces large, wavy-edge leaves and large seed heads covered with brown seeds.

Control
Mulch to prevent dock. Pull and dig up plants or treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Fleabane

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
2 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in sun to partial shade

Appearance
Fleabane has slender leaves, borne on an upright stem that branches. It produces puffy white to pale lavender daisies.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent fleabane or use a preemergence herbicide in spring. Pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Foxtail

Type
Grassy annual

Size
Stands 30 to 80 cm (about 12 to 30 inches) high and has a light-green flower cluster 7 cm long.

Where it grows
Lawn, grassland areas and is common along roadsides.

Appearance
Soft, bushy appearance, the seed, which is comprised of numerous seed heads, looks like a fox’s tail.

Control
Dig out the weeds, regularly trimmed the area, or treat chemical herbicides.

Henbit

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 12 inches tall and wide

Where it grows
Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun or shade

Appearance
Henbit is a low, creeping plant with scallop-edge leaves and purple flowers.

Control
Mulch to prevent henbit in gardens or use preemergence herbicide in spring. Pull plants by hand or treat in lawns with a broadleaf, postemergence herbicide.

Knotweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 8 inches tall and 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Sunny or partly shaded lawn, landscape, or garden areas

Appearance
Knotweed is an invasive groundcover with blue-green leaves sparsely appearing on long stems.

Control
Prevent knotweed with a deep layer of mulch or apply a preemergence herbicide in spring. Once the plant grows, hand-pull or spot-treat it with an herbicide.

Lamb's-Quarter

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade

Appearance
Lamb's-quarter's scalloped leaves have gray undersides to them.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent lamb's-quarter. Pull weed plants by hand or use a postemergence herbicide.

Musk Thistle

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 6 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in full sun

Appearance
Musk thistle's prickly leaves off of tall stems topped by heavy 2-inch purple flowers.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent musk thistle. Use a postemergence herbicide or dig the weed out yourself.

Nettle

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Where it grows
Garden areas with rich, moist soil

Appearance
Nettle has sawtooth-edge leaves and yellowish flower clusters covered with stinging hairs.

Control
Mulch to prevent nettle. Dig out weeds or treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Nutsedge

Type
Grassy perennial

Size
2 feet tall, 1 foot wide

Where it grows
Nutsedge has grassy leaves and nutlike tubers on the root system.

Appearance
Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent nutsedge. Pull plants by hand or spray with a postemergence herbicide containing monosodium methanearsonate (also known as MSMA).

Control
Mulch to prevent nettle. Dig out weeds or treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Oxalis

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 20 inches tall

Where it grows
Sunny or shady landscape, lawn, or garden areas

Appearance
This garden weed has light green leaves that look like clover and cup-shape yellow flowers in summer and fall.

Control
Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent weeds. Pull oxalis weeds by hand or spray weeds with a postemergence herbicide in spring or fall.

Pigweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
6 feet tall, 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Sunny landscape or garden areas

Appearance
Pigweeds are tall plants with a taproot. These weeds sprout hairy-looking clusters of green flowers.

Control
Mulch garden areas in spring to prevent pigweed or use a preemergence herbicide in spring. Pull weeds by hand or spray with a postemergence herbicide.herbicide in spring or fall.

Plantain

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Where it grows
Moist lawn and garden areas in sun or shade

Appearance
Plantains have a broad, flat leaves around a low rosette.

Control
Mulch to prevent plantains growing in the garden. Pull these weeds by hand or use a postemergence herbicide in lawns.

Poa Annua

Type
Grassy annual meadow

Size
30 to 100 cm (12 to 40 inches) tall

Where it grows
Lawn and garden areas

Appearance
Tall, with soft, blue-green leaves; its creeping rootstalks form a good sod.

Control
Pull plants by hand or treat with a post emergence herbicide.

Poison Ivy

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 15 feet tall and wide

Where it grows
Sunny or shady landscape or garden areas

Appearance
Poison ivy can be a vine, shrub, or groundcover. The weed has leaves divided into three leaflets and can sprout clusters of green berries.

Control
Prevent poison ivy with a deep layer of mulch. If the weed starts to grow in your yard, spot-treat it with an herbicide.

Pokeweed

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
To 10 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Sunny landscape or garden areas

Appearance
Pokeweed bears light green leaves with clusters of white flowers and dark purple berries.

Control
Prevent pokeweed with a deep layer of mulch. Once the plant grows, hand-pull or spot-treat it with an herbicide.

Prostrate Spurge

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
3 inches tall, 18 inches wide

Where it grows
Lawn, landscape, and garden areas with dry soil

Appearance
Green or purple-blushed leaves of prostrate spurge form dense mats.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent prostrate spurge or use a preemergence herbicide in lawns. Pull weeds when young or spot-treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Purslane

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 6 inches tall and 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Dry, sunny landscape and garden areas

Appearance
Purslane groundcover has fleshy, dark green leaves and small yellow flowers at the ends of the stems.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent purslane or use a preemergence herbicide in the spring. Pull plants by hand or spot-treat with a nonselective postemergence herbicide.

Quackgrass

Type
Grassy perennial

Size
To 3 feet tall and several feet wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in sun or shade

Appearance
Quackgrass has wheatlike flower spikes, which appear above slender clumps of grassy foliage.

Control
Mulch your garden prevent quackgrass. Dig plants out by hand, being sure to remove every bit of root.

Quickweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 2 feet tall and wide

Where it grows
Sunny landscape and garden areas

Appearance
Quickweed has jagged, hairy leaves and small white daisy-shape flowers in summer.

Control
Use a mulch or a preemergence herbicide in spring to prevent quickweed. If plants do grow, pull them by hand or spot-treat them with a postemergence herbicide.

Ragweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas in sun or partial shade

Appearance
Ragweed grows finely cut green leaves that are almost ferny.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent ragweed. Use a postemergence herbicide or pull it out by hand.

Sandbur

Type
Grassy annual

Size
To 20 inches high

Where it grows
Dry, sandy soils and patchy lawns

Appearance
Rounded sharp-spined burs.

Control
Pulling the weed and mowing, but eventually sandbur will get the upper hand. Fertilize your lawn in fall to help it produce a thick mat to crowd out any sandbur seedlings in spring.

Smartweed

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To To 42 inches tall and 30 inches wide

Where it grows
Sunny landscape and garden areas

Appearance
Smartweed is an upright plant with pink or white flowers in summer and fall and has lance-shape leaves often marked with purple chevrons.

Control
To prevent this weed, mulch garden beds in spring. Pull plants by hand or apply a postemergence herbicide once it grows.

Velvetleaf

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
To 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Where it grows
Fertile, sunny landscape and garden areas

Appearance
Velvetleaf gets its name after its large, velvety heart-shape leaves up to 10 inches across. The weed blooms yellow flowers in summer.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent velvetleaf or use a preemergence herbicide in spring; pull plants by hand or use a postemergence herbicide.

White Clover

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
8-10 inches tall, 12 inches wide

Where it grows
Lawn, landscape, and garden areas in sun to partial shade

Appearance
White clover has three-lobe leaves frame round white flower clusters.

Control
Mulch your garden beds to prevent white clover in landscape areas. Use a postemergence herbicide in lawns or hand-pull the weeds.

Wild Violet

Type
Broadleaf perennial

Size
6 inches tall, 6 inches wide

Where it grows
Shady lawn, landscape, or garden areas

Appearance
Wild violet is a groundcover with heart-shape leaves and purple flowers in late spring.

Control
Mulch garden beds in spring to prevent wild violet. Pull weeds by hand or spray with a postemergence herbicide in spring or fall.

Yellow Salsify

Type
Broadleaf biennial or short-lived perennial

Size
To 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Where it grows
Sunny landscape and garden areas

Appearance
Yellow salsify has gray-green leaves. Yellow flowers on the plant are followed by large puffballs.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent yellow salsify. Pull plants by hand or treat with a postemergence herbicide.

Yellow Sweet Clover

Type
Broadleaf annual

Size
1-3 feet tall, 12-18 inches wide

Where it grows
Landscape and garden areas

Appearance
Yellow sweet clover has lanky branches, clover-like leaves, and fragrant yellow flowers.

Control
Mulch your garden to prevent yellow sweet clover. Pull plants by hand or spot-treat a postemergence herbicide.