This erect, or clump-forming, annual grass tolerates close mowing.
light green in color, especially compared with the dark green of related turf grasses.
Leaves are keeled and feature a distinctive boat-shaped tip.
soil temperatures fall below 70 F, germination of Poa Annua will begin.
A dense, healthy turf to reduce sunlight at the soil surface.
Keep soil phosphorous levels in the low to medium range.
Cultural practices can reduce Poa Annua, however herbicides are needed for superior control.
Poa Annua produces most of its seed heads in the spring. Apply a preemergence grass herbicide such as Dithiopyr or Prodiamine prior to germination of seedlings.
Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)
This low-trailing annual can act as a perennial in some conditions. It is common in lawns stressed from compaction, heat & drought.
Often confused with clover, black medic is easily distinguished by the bright yellow flowers and leaf arrangement. The leaf is similar to clover and other legumes with three leaflets, but black medic's center leaflet is on a separate petiole.
Prostrate stems, one to two inch in length, grow from a taproot.
Clean up any established Black Medic by using a postemergence herbicide containing one or more auxinic herbicides, such as Clopyralid, Triclopyr, Fluroxypyr or Florasulam. Time your application in spring or fall.
Control starts with elimination of seed production, as each plant can produce thousands of seeds. Black Medic germinates when soil temperatures are between 50F and 75F. Apply a preemergence herbicide prior to germination, or just after elimination via post emergence control.
Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major)
This plant has a short, thick taproot that forms a rosette of leaves that lay flat to the ground.
The broad oval-shaped leaves have three to five prominent parallel veins and are attached to the root system by a fibrous, celery-shaped petiole.
Flowers appear on leafless, unbranched stalks that originate from the base of the plant.
It adapts well to most sites—including dry or wet conditions, heavy soils and very low mowing heights.
This species typically requires repeat applications of a product containing Triclopyr or two or three way mixtures of products containing 2,4-D.
Helpful turf management practices include conducting soil aeration, avoiding overwatering and using the proper mower cutting height for each turf species.
Once under control, dense stands of turf and ornamentals will shade the soil surface – making establishment of new plantain seedlings more difficult.
Buckhorn Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
This perennial turfgrass weed is commonly found in maintained turf, agricultural land and other disturbed sites.
Leaves are football-shaped and spiral around a short stem, clustering around the base of the plant.
It has narrower leaves and shorter flower stalks than broadleaf plantain.
Flower heads consist of leafless, slender spikes of inconspicuous flowers clustered densely along the upright flowering head. Open flowers have protruding white stamens.
In spring or fall, apply a postemergence broadfleaf herbicide with good translocation properties to thoroughly control the root system of this plant. Two and three way auxinic herbicide products provide thorough control.
Properly fertilize, mow and water to maintain lush turf growth and minimize the potential for Buckhorn Plantain to establish itself.
Burweed (Soliva sessilis)
This low-growing, freely branched, winter annual germinates when temperatures begin to cool.
This weed reproduces by seed. In early spring, it begins to grow rapidly, forming spine-tipped burs in the leaf axis.
It has opposite, sparsely hairy leaves, twice divided into narrow segments, or lobes. Small flowers bloom in the spring.
Its burs are hard to see, but easily felt.
Maintain a healthy lawn by fertilizing and mowing at the proper height and frequency. Healthy grass can outcompete burweed for light, water and nutrients to reduce the level of infestation.
Once this weed develops its burs, it is difficult to control and may need multiple applications of a postemergence herbicide.
Apply a labeled preemergence herbicide in the fall, before burweed germinates.
Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
This creeping perennial’s extensive rhizome system can extend up to three feet. It features smooth, oblong, irregularly lobed leaves with spiny margins.
Pink or purple flowers bloom in late June through September, growing in 0.75 inch diameter clusters.
Unlike musk and bull thistles, the stems and flowers do not have spines or prickles.
It colonizes in tall clusters (1-3 ft. in height), particularly in open areas.
After the first flower buds are formed and before the first flowers open, apply systemic foliar herbicides, which move down through the plant and injure the root system. Repeat applications on regrowth may be needed.
Removing shoots can stimulate growth on underground buds, which can generate new shoots a year or more after top-growth has been destroyed. Hand-pulling or mowing just spreads the growth of this problematic plant.
Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Low spreading, prostrate winter annual or perennial has weak, shallow roots.
Succulent plant grows in dense patches almost anywhere.
Similar in growth habit and appearance to Mouse-Ear Chickweed. Common Chickweed leaves are less hairy and light green in color.
For optimum control, apply a preemergence herbicide in late summer/early fall.
Many postemergent herbicides will work effectively.
Keep in mind that herbicide effectiveness is reduced as weeds mature. For optimum postemergence control, apply to actively growing immature weeds in the fall. If a spring application is made, you may need more than one application.
Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
This plant, which prefers cool, rich, moist soils, is a winter or summer annual. It can also be a biennial in coastal areas.
It features a single stem or branched upright growth, 6 to 18 inches tall. It's yellow flowers bloom nearly year-round.
Leaves are highly variable, from hairless to lightly covered with long wavy or cottonlike hairs.
Groundsel reproduces by seed; each plant may produce three to four generations of seeds in one season.
Because the seed is easily spread and can potentially deposit numerous seeds throughout the season, the best option for control is an early season application of pre-emergence broadleaf herbicide with at least three months’ residual.
To prevent common groundsel infestation, use good sanitation practices supplemented with pre-emergence broadleaf herbicide.
Common Lespedeza (Lespedeza striata)
This prostrate, free-branched summer annual features inconspicuous purplish flowers.
Leaves are trifoliate, with lance-shaped stipules and hairs along the leaf margins.
Small, single flowers grow from the leaf axils on most of the nodes on the main stems.
Commonly found on soils with low fertility, it grows close to the ground in thin turf and dry, compacted areas.
One of the best control options for this summer annual is to keep it from germinating. In spring, apply a preemergence herbicide labeled for control of Common Lespedeza.
If turf is thin or compacted, alleviate compaction, raise your mowing height, and keep the soil’s pH and fertility levels within appropriate guidelines of your turf.
Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
This prostrate summer annual grows rapidly in warm months and tolerates poorly compacted soils and drought.
Its distinct, fleshy, succulent foliage sets it apart from other weed species.
Seedlings are oblong, succulent and hairless.
Leaves are alternate, rounded at the apex and narrowed at the base. Young leaves are maroon on the lower surface.
Small, yellow flowers bloom from May through September on hot, sunny days.
Apply a preemergence herbicide labeled for your use site. Dithiopyr is effective when applied prior to germination and will prevent emerging seedlings. 2,4-D-based herbicides also provide good control.
Once the area is free from Purslane, use good management practices to prevent reinfestation. Clean cultivation and seeding equipment that may have been used in infested areas. Remove any Purslane escapes before they set seed to minimize reinfestation.
Curly Dock (Rumex crispus)
This taproot perennial develops a rosette of wavy-margined leaves.
It features a membranous sheath at the base and usually swollen nodes.
Flowers occur in greenish clusters at the top of the main stem and become reddish-brown as they mature.
Stems are unbranched, thick, without hairs, ridged and often reddish in color.
It usually grows in wet areas, such as those caused by overwatering or standing water in low areas.
It's best controlled postemergence in the fall or spring, with two, three, and four way broadleaf herbicides.
Perennial weeds are capable of living more than two years and thrive in weak, thin turf. Proper turf maintenance is the key to maintain control. Properly fertilize, mow and water to encourage dense growth.
Dallisgrass (Paspalium dilatum)
This abundant-seed-producing perennial grows in clumps with a tall, membranous ligule.
Leaves are rolled in the bud and lack auricles. They also are without hairs except for several long, silky hairs that grow in the collar region
The seed head is produced on a terminal stalk with three to five fingerlike spikes branching from the center. Each spikelet is covered in black silky hairs.
If present, the best way to eradicate dallisgrass is by digging out the clumps prior to formation of rhizomes or seed set or applying a postemergence herbicide labeled for control.
Dallisgrass seed begins to emerge when soil temperatures reach 60 F. For optimum control, apply a pre-emergent in the spring just prior to these soil temperatures being reached.
If Dallisgrass is a problem in ornamental beds, apply a layer of mulch over the top of your pre-emergence herbicide.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
This perennial overwinters as a small rosette of leaves. Seedlings grow from a taproot and begin to emerge in early spring when soil temperatures reach 50 F.
Solitary, bright yellow blossoms grow on the end of leafless, hollow stalks that emit a white milky sap when broken.
It produces a puffball seed head shortly after mowing, and seeds are easily dispersed by wind.
Dandelions prefer moist conditions and soils, but thrive in weak, thin turf.
For early season control of weeds that overwintered, apply a postemergence herbicide to turf early in the spring when temperatures are still cool.
Properly mow, water and fertilize turf to encourage healthy growth and minimize thin turf.
Postemergence herbicides may be applied in conjunction with fertilizer and preemergence herbicides in the beginning of the season.
Dwarf Beggarweed (Desmodium triflorum)
This perennial has leaves with three small, heart-shaped leaflets.
It propagates through seeds and stolons. The prostrate hairy stems root at nodes.
It flowers in warm months. Flowers are blue or purplish pink.
Its close relative, Creeping Beggarweed (Desmodium incanium), has leaves with three leaflets that vary in size and are elliptic, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base. Incanum has hairy stems and leaves. Flowers are pink to rose color. It can propagate through seed, stolons or broken taproot.
To minimize the establishment and spread of both Desmodium species, maintain a lush lawn with proper mow height, fertility and water management.
Repeat applications either pre or post bloom of a product containing Triclopyr and Clopyralid are recommended.
Goosegrass (Eleusine indica)
This prostrate-growing summer annual grows in a clump, with the base of the leaves being distinctively white to silver.
Leaves are folded, and may be smooth or have a few hairs.
It features a strong, extensive root system and readily invades hard, compacted soils found in high-traffic areas.
Be sure your turfgrass is maintained properly so it grows vigorously and thickly.
If you have had goosegrass previously, apply a preemergence herbicide labeled for goosegrass. Consider putting out two applications of preemergence each year in early and late spring.
Ground Ivy (Glenchoma microcarpa)
This prostrate creeping perennial has square stems several feet long that root at the nodes.
It's rounded, scalloped leaves and small, funnel-shaped purple flowers grow in clusters.
All plant parts feature a strong mint odor.
It prefers moist, shady sites and can tolerate low mowing heights.
Fall is an excellent time to treat ground ivy; applications in spring (when it's in flower) are also a good time to get effective control.
Research has shown that products containing triclopyr are effective in spring and fall, and more effective than 2,4-D based products during the difficult summer period.
Combinations of shade, wet soils and poor fertility favor ground ivy. Try to alleviate these conditions to maintain control.
Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
The leaves on this winter or summer annual consist of two to four pairs of round leaflets arranged alternately along the stem, up to twelve inches high.
Small white flowers occur in clusters at the end of stems.
It's often found in wet, disturbed areas such as landscape beds, containers or poorly drained turf.
Hairy Bittercress can have multiple generations per year and is spread by seed that projects when the plants are disturbed. Preemergence herbicides are considered to be the best way to maintain control of this weed.
When installing landscape beds, start with weed free soil. A few weeks after transplanting, apply a pre-emergence herbicide and cover with a layer of mulch. Be sure to read and follow the preemergence herbicide label to ensure all of your desirable plants are tolerant of this product.
Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)
This winter annual has square, flowering stems that can grow nearly 10" tall.
Commonly confused with purple deadnettle. Deadnettle also has square stems, but it's upper leaves have petioles (henbit does not) and its upper leaves are distinctly red- or purple-tinted. Henbit features mintlike pink to purple flowers.
Prefers thin, nutrient-rich soil.
Apply herbicide in late summer/early fall for preemergence control, before the weed germinates.
For postemergence control, apply a two, three or four way product that contains an active ingredient such as Fluroxypyr, Triclopyr or Clopyralid.
For optimum postemergence control, applications should be made to actively growing, immature henbit in the fall. If a spring application is made to mature weeds, more than one application may be needed.
Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)
This summer annual, also known as Mary's grass, resembles bamboo.
Its leaves are pale green, lance-shaped and asymmetrical with a shiny midrib.
Slender stalks of tiny flowers are produced in late summer, and dry fruits (achenes) are produced shortly afterward.
It spreads by seeds and rooting at joints along the stem. Seeds produced by this plant can remain viable in the soil for at least three years.
For nonselective control of established Japanese Stiltgrass, glyphosate can be used. There are limited choices for complete postemergence control of this species in established turfgrass.
Japanese Stiltgrass is identified as a Class C noxious weed in some areas, so preventing the germination and establishment of it is critical. Apply a pre-emergence herbicide in early spring prior to germination.
Kyllinga (Cyperus brevifolius)
Dark green, narrow, ridged leaves have a shiny, grasslike appearance.
Tightly bunched, round seed heads sit on spikes.
Flowers bloom from May to October on three-sided triangular stems.
This perennial plant forms dense mats and thrives with low mowing- preferring wet, poorly drained soils.
Control soil moisture, because excessive moisture encourages growth and germination.
Low, routine mowing heights reduce its persistence.
Make multiple postemergence applications of an arsenate herbicide like MSMA or a sulfonylurea-type herbicide like Halosulfuron.
Large Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis)
This light green, bunch-type grass features seedhead spikelets in two to nine fingerlike branches along the stalk.
The summer annual germinates when soil temperatures reach a consistent 55 F.
Its tall, membranous ligule has jagged edges and no auricles.
Leaves are rolled in the bud, and the collar is broad with long hairs.
It grows under close mowing and prefers open areas with thin turfgrass.
When soil temperatures approach 55 f in the spring, apply a preemergence crabgrass herbicide.
Look for products containing either Prodiamine or Dithiopyr that provide season-long control.
Consult the appropriate product label for recommended rates for your area, as well as reseeding and overseeding recommendations.
Large Hop Clover (Trifolium campestre)
This winter annual has trifoliate leaves similar to white clover.
Leaflets have prominent veins, with the terminal leaflet on a short stem.
Short hairy slender stems are reddish in color and have a tendency to sprawl.
Bright yellow flowers grow in clusters; each produces a single seed.
Apply a postemergence herbicide when clover is young and actively growing.
Good turf maintenance ensures a thick stand of grass and will help clover from recurring.
Consider adjusting your fertility program to include more nitrogen and less phosphorous.
Mouse-Ear Chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum)
This spreading, mat-forming perennial prominently features hairy, prostrate stems.
Its small white flowers have five notched petals that bloom in late spring.
Leaves are noticeably hairy or fuzzy, long and narrow, and grow opposite; like the weeds common name, they resemble mouse ears.
Commonly found in lawns, pastures and cultivated fields, Mouse-Ear Chickweed spreads by seed but, can root at the nodes.
Preventative practices can discourage infestation. Improve soil drainage and decrease shade if possible.
Nitrogen fertility, liming and aeration will encourage a dense stand of turf, minimizing potential for Mouse-Ear Chickweed establishment.
Apply a preemergence herbicide prior to germination or a postemergence herbicide.
Prostrate Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare)
This prostrate summer annual is commonly found in pathways, sports fields and other compacted areas of turfgrass.
Cotyledons are narrow, linear and often mistaken for grass. Stems below the cotyledons are often reddish in color.
Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Short petioles and a distinctive, thin membranous sheath encircle the stem at the leaf base.
Small, inconspicuous white to pinkish flowers grow in the area between the stems and leaves.
As soon as temperatures warm up in the spring, apply a preemergence herbicide labeled for Knotweed control.
Maintain a dense, healthy turf that will compete well with Knotweed by the proper use of fertility, maintaining an appropriate mowing height for your turfgrass, uniform watering and aeration in the fall.
Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)
With square stems and purple-red flowers, this winter annual closely resembles henbit.
Opposite leaves with pointed tips often have a purple tinge. Leaves grow on short or long petioles dependent on where the leaf is located on the plant.
Purple-red flowers grow in clusters of three to six in the upper leaves.
Deadnettle, a member of the mint family, reproduces by seed.
Purple deadnettle germinates in the fall and flowers in the spring. It thrives in thin turf and moist, shady sites.
Dense, lush turf is the best way to reduce spread and encroachment of winter annuals. Properly mow, fertilize and water in spring and summer to minimize this turf areas.
Apply a preemergence herbicide prior to germination in the fall.
Red Clover (Trifolium pretense)
This cool-season, perennial legume grows from a fibrous root system and is found across the U.S.
Stiff, hairy stems root at the nodes, causing this weed to grow erect.
Each leaf consists of three elliptical leaflets, with a light green or white V-shaped watermark.
Round pink to purple flower heads, made up of many small flowers, grow on flower stalks.
As with any turfgrass weed, proper cultural maintenance of the lawn will greatly reduce the prevalence and presence of this weed. Properly mow, fertilize and water lawns to encourage healthy turf.
When red clover is actively growing, apply a postemergence, systemic herbicide that will move from the treated foliage throughout the extensive root system to completely control this weed.
Speedwell (Veronica spp.)
This low-growing winter annual thrives in open turf and becomes upright as it matures.
It has small leaves lower leaves that are rounded and toothed; the upper leaves are pointed.
The plant, which is entirely covered in fine hairs, grows small bright blue flowers with white throats.
A distinctive heart-shaped seedpod grows below the flowers.
It does not typically last long after flowering and cannot live in high temperatures.
Increase turfgrass density and minimize open turf areas by fertilizing, mowing and irrigating.
Control winter annual broadleaf weeds before seed set.
Treat early stages of growth with a product containing multiple broadleaf herbicides labeled for Speedwell control.
Apply a preemergence broadleaf herbicide such as Dithiopyr in late summer/early fall.
Spotted Spurge (Euphorbia maculate)
Red-or-purple-tinged stems host opposite leaves and emit milky juice when broken.
Oblong leaves are smooth or sparsely hairy, from reddish-green to dark green in color – often with a maroon or purple spot in the center.
The prostrate structure forms mats by branching form the base.
This warm-season annual is found in disturbed soil, such as in gardens and flower beds, along sidewalks and in open turf areas.
Apply a broadleaf preemergence herbicide containing Isoxaben or Dithiopyr in late spring. If you have germinated spurge, apply a postemergence herbicide when the plants are small.
Mulching of beds, adequate soil moisture and good fertility help control this species. Hand-pulling plants when they’re small will minimize the seed deposits.
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
Low growing, creeping winter perennial with stems that root at nodes.
Elliptical leaves in groups of three that usually have a light green or white band like a watermark, plus some toothing on the edges.
White to pink-tinged flower clusters grow from long stems that usually rise above the leaves.
Active growth from seeds or plants begins with cooler temperatures and increased moisture.
Clean up any clover that may have survived the winter frosts with a spring application of a postemergence herbicide.
Apply a preemergence herbicide in late winter or early fall - before white clover seeds germinate.
Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta)
This perennial features hairy stems and reproduces via seeds and rhizomes.
Leaves are alternate along the stem with three heart-shaped leaflets.
Bright yellow flowers have five petals that flare outward.
It prefers moist to slightly dry conditions in rich loamy soil.
Yellow woodsorrel can be controlled with post emergent herbicides containing Triclopyr.
Repeat spring applications may be needed.
Pre-emergent herbicides containing Isoxaben or Dithiopyr can be used to keep Woodsorrel from becoming a problem.
Check the product label to see whether Woodsorrel (Oxalis) is controlled.
Perennial broadleaf weeds are capable of living more than two years. Proper turf maintenance is the key to controlling this weed. Fertilize, mow and water turf to encourage dense growth.