This yellow, flowering weed is both edible and extremely common in lawns. The plant produces flowering heads, which turn white and go to seed if left alone. They bloom in early spring, making them nectar sources for pollinators. You can eradicate them by removing the entire root system along with the yellow blossoms.
Bitter dock, broadleaved dock, blunt leaf dock, or butter dock are all common names for this perennial weed. It flowers and can grow to a height of 59 inches. It has large, oval leaves and sometimes features red stems. While it is another edible weed, it can be an aggressive, invasive, unwelcome visitor in any yard.
This flowering weed is also called wood sorrels. They can be annuals or perennials, and their divided leaves are accompanied by five-petaled flowers. Colors may include white, pink, red, or yellow. They can be an undesirable addition when it grows unchecked in a lawn.
There are over 1,000 flowering plants that fall under the name “Morning Glory.” It can quickly take over a lawn, creeping over the grass or dirt with flowering vines. It is a perennial in warm climates and an annual in colder ones. When used as shade vines, they can make a nice addition to your yard.
The spurge plant is a creeping, fast-growing that can often be found in sidewalk cracks. The earlier it is eradicated, the easier it is. It can be identified by the symmetrical leaves that grow on a stem, all of which originate from a central root. This weed has a milky sap when the leaves are broken.
Henbit weeds are a common annual and can be difficult to remove from your lawn. They thrive on moisture and will pop up anywhere your lawn is thin enough. Each plant may produce up to 2,000 seeds to promote germination. It is a popular food source with chickens, which is where the weed gets its name. Its stems are square, featuring green or purple coloring. It can grow up to 11 inches tall, with heart-shaped, rounded or scalloped leaves. It can also produce purple flowers.
Mallow leaves may resemble hibiscus, okra or cotton, as they are all from the same species. The flowers may be pale pink or white. They are often found in cultivated, or disturbed earth, but can also pop up in gardens and manicured lawns. They have deep roots and produce a lot of seeds, helping them quickly become a problem.
Much like spurge, knotweed has a central root with wiry stems. The leaves on knotweed alternate in their placement, and are blue-green in color. They prefer hard-packed soil and can withstand foot traffic. Knotweeds will grow in cracks and even in your lawn.
While pleasant to look at, grape hyacinth is another bulb that can quickly spread and take over your lawn. Like wild onion and wild garlic, digging up the bulbs is one of the best ways to eradicate them. You’ll know grape hyacinth by its spiky green leaves and clusters of purple flowers that look just like a bunch of grapes. It is an early spring bloomer that will return each year.
This weed can be identified by its fuzzy appearance. It is a perennial that also features lacy foliage, and can grow up to 6 feet tall. When the leaves are broken they typically smell sour and/or musty. This is another weed that is most effectively removed by completely digging up the root system.
With feathery leaves, the yarrow plant can be classified as both an ornamental perennial or a weed. It spreads well and is quite tolerant. Leaves resemble ferns, and the flowers form umbrella shapes, making them ideal for pollinators to land on.
This is a low-growing plant with spiny seeds, often strong enough to puncture your shoes. Young plants can be pulled easily, especially if the ground is wet. If you remove before the burs form, eradication is easier.
Also known as ribwort, narrowleaf, English plantain, ribleaf, lamb’s tongue, and buckhorn. This weed often pops up after the Earth has been cultivated, or dug up. The plant forms in a rosette pattern and has silky, hairy flowering stems. Each flower can contain up to 200 seeds, so eradicating it early is key to removal.
This edible weed is very nutritious and is also known as pigweed, little hogweed, fatweed, and pusley. It is mostly made of water and features red stems with green leaves. It can crawl in sidewalk cracks or over surfaces and is drought-tolerant.
With a purse-like shape, this annual plant gets its name from the flat fruits it grows. It grows from a rosette of leaves, with stems roughly 1.5 feet tall. White, small flowers grow, featuring four petals. The seed pods are triangular/heart-shaped. The leaves by themselves may resemble dandelion at first glance.
This clover-like weed produces small, yellow flowers. It is short-lived and once mature can measure 6 - 31 inches tall. Initially, Black Medic will lay flat before growing in height. It can be used to make honey, and its growth in your lawn may indicate that your soil is lacking nitrogen. Medic can actually replenish your lawn’s nitrogen levels if you allow it to grow.
This invasive plant is an annual in warm climates. It is common in desert areas and is known to be hairy and sticky. The bright pink flowers usually feature darker spots near the base and include a seed pod shaped like a stork bill (hence the name redstem stork’s bill, by which it is also known). Filaree has both explosive and self-burial germination techniques, affected by how well hydrated the plant is. Young filaree plants are compared to being similar in taste to parsley and are edible.
This is another weed that can be mistaken for dandelions when its green leaves begin to sprout. Eventually, the thistle will feature purple blooms when mature. While native thistle is not a threat to your lawn, non-native species can be problematic as they overrun your yard. In Utah, there are a number of native thistles, so you may want to contact an expert before deciding to remove them.
Because wild violets, also known as Common Blue Violet, can easily grow in dry conditions as well as moist, shady conditions, it can pop up in any garden or lawn. Conversely, they can be a welcome addition to your yard as an early spring bloomer, with pale purple, white, or even grayish flowers.
Wild Onion and Garlic
Wild onion and wild garlic are types of alliums that grow in clumps. They will smell like garlic or onion, so you can easily identify them in your yard. Wild onions feature thin, flat, spear-shaped leaves. Wild garlic leaves are rounded and hollow. Both are resistant to herbicides because of their waxy leaves. Digging up and removing the bulbs before they have a chance to break apart and multiply is your best bet for removing them from your yard.
Also known as Creeping Charlie, this weed is a perennial featuring square stems with clusters of leaves at each node. The leaves are kidney-shaped, and the plant also features purple or blue flowers. It can make an excellent ground cover, but sometimes it’s not always wanted.
While it resembles chamomile plants, pineapple weed can be identified by its distinct, pineapple scent when it’s crushed. It is a low-growing plant with cone-shaped flowers. It is usually yellow-green in color. The leaves are feathery, and both flowers and leaves of this plant are edible.
Fescue is often used as an ornamental grass, but when it begins invading your lawn it can be an aggressive weed. Tall Fescue is a cool-season perennial and is heat-tolerant which means it will return year after year unless treated. Tall Fescue can be identified by its rolled (verses folded) blades, and its tendency to grow in clumps.
This perennial grass is also known as couch grass, and has flat, hairy blades and spiky flowers. Often used to help reduce erosion, it is also beneficial for mammals that graze. However, left unchecked, it can spread rapidly on your property.
Also known as Yorkshire Fog, Velvet Grass is aptly named for its soft, hairy texture. Featuring velvety, grey-green leaves, and round stems, you’ll also notice pink veins that set it apart from other wild grasses.
Also known at Cat Grass, Orchardgrass is another common, cool-season perennial that can overtake your lawn. Green-grey in color, it grows tufted tops that can range in color from green to red or purple depending on sunlight. Flattened bases of its stems help distinguish it from other wild grass.
Creeping bentgrass is ideal for use as short turfs, such as in golf courses. It can withstand being mowed short, and its name is due to its bent roots that allow for lateral propagation. Bentgrass is typically dark green and has horizontal blades that can quickly overrun residential lawns if not remedied.
Annual Grass Weeds
Your lawn is the perfect habitat for Barnyard Grass, which prefers nutrient-rich soil. As an annual, it may be easier to eradicate than other grass weeds. You can identify it by its purple-hued blades, which are flat with a vein down the middle.
Although crabgrass has a one-year life cycle, it can produce up to 150,000 seeds to encourage rapid propagation. Once a patch of crabgrass dies in the fall, it leaves behind a bare patch in your lawn, which provides an ideal area for seeds to germinate for the next season.
With spiky clusters, Foxtail can be especially troublesome for homeowners with pets. Look for barbs at the ends of the blades to identify this annual grass weed. Those tips are designed to be easily disturbed by people and wildlife for propagation.
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