35 Common Types Of Weeds: Identification With Names & Pictures

Before deciding what to do with weeds it’s important to identify them.

Depending on the type, you may need a different method of eradication.

And some weeds are harmful, requiring extra care to be around and handle.

You’ll even find that some are edible and nutritious if you fancy giving them a try.

We’ve compiled a list of the types of weeds you’re most likely to come across. With pictures and botanical names for easy identification.

35 Common Weeds

The 35 weed species below are further categorized into broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds, and sedges.

The examples include some of the most common weeds, as well as the most problematic.

Let’s dive in!

Dandelion

Dandelions

Botanical name: Taraxacum officinale

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 2-18 inches

  • Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 2-18 inches

Dandelions are common garden weeds, often found growing on your lawn. Usually, dandelions first catch the eye in spring. But in some locations, they grow and flower all year round. And you’ll notice them immediately. Dandelions have a distinctive yellow flower that gives way to a fluffy seed head when it’s time for seed dispersal.

Dandelion weeds are harmless to have in your garden. And they’re good for the bee population. But they will spread. And like many types of weeds, dandelions take over if you leave them to grow.

Getting rid of dandelions can be difficult. And simply cutting them down won’t do the job. Dandelions have a thick taproot that grows around 12 inches deep in the soil. To stop the weed from growing back you’ll have to kill or remove the taproot.

Canada Thistle

Creeping Thistle

Botanical name: Cirsium arvense

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 1-3 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Cirsium arvense
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 1-3 ft. tall

Thistles are thorny weeds that are a prickly nuisance wherever they appear.

Thistles grow from seeds dispersed by the wind. And you can accidentally introduce them to your yard in topsoil and mulch.

Thistles typically grow between 5-8 ft. tall. And each thistle plant develops a large root system that can grow 20 ft. long in a single season.

Even a small piece of root in the soil can regrow a new plant. Which makes thistles tricky to get rid of. To control the spread you can cut off the unopened buds to prevent the plant from flowering and seeding. And you can use herbicides to kill the weed.

Field Bindweed

Bindweed

Botanical name: Convolvulus arvensis

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: The vines grow up to 6 ft. long

  • Botanical Name: Convolvulus arvensis
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: The vines grow up to 6 ft. long

Bindweed is sometimes called wild morning glory due to its flowers. Its appearance sometimes encourages gardeners to let the weed grow. But it’s usually not recommended.

Bindweed spreads through its roots and seeds. With the vines growing along the ground, and also climbing over obstacles such as fences or trees. It’s very difficult to eradicate bindweed once it takes over an area.

The big problem is the roots that grow 30 feet deep. Making it almost impossible to completely remove them. And even when you kill the plant above ground it grows back. Systemic herbicides can do the job. But it may take multiple applications to kill this persistent weed.

Broadleaf Plantain

Plantain

Botanical name: Plantago major

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 4-16 inches high

  • Botanical Name: Plantago major
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 4-16 inches high

Broadleaf plantain is also known as greater plantain, or white man’s foot — the name given to it by Native Americans who noticed its appearance wherever the settlers went.

This type of weed has a range of benefits for health and beauty. And you can eat the leaves raw or cooked.

But not everyone is happy to see plantain growing in their yard. In areas with thin grass and dry soil, the weed quickly spreads across the ground.

Fortunately, removing plantain is fairly easy. You can pull the plant, including the root system, with the help of a 3 claw weeder.

Nutsedge

Nutsedge

Botanical name: Cyperus rotundus

Category: Perennial sedge

Size: Yellow nutsedge – up to 3 ft. tall. Purple nutsedge – up to 1-1/3 ft. tall.

  • Botanical Name: Cyperus rotundus
  • Category: Perennial sedge
  • Size: Yellow nutsedge – up to 3 ft. tall. Purple nutsedge – up to 1-1/3 ft. tall.

Nutsedge loves waterlogged and compacted soil. And will invade thin lawns if the conditions are right.

It can be very hard to control. Nutsedge spreads through seeds as well as underground bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes. Each tuber can produce hundreds of new shoots and hundreds of new tubers in just a 6 ft. area.

It’s important to prevent nutsedge weed from becoming established. So get rid of nutsedge plants while they’re young. Before they have the chance to spread and develop tubers.

Chickweed

Chickweed plant

Botanical name: Stellaria media

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 18 inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Stellaria media
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 18 inches tall

You’ll first notice chickweed during the winter months. Commonly found growing on lawns, chickweed spreads quickly, forming a dense mat as its shoots intertwine. As the weed grows it spreads up to 16 inches in diameter.

Chickweed is a weed with small white flowers. Each consisting of 5 petals.

Chickweed spreads through seeds and roots. Each plant can spread thousands of seeds. These survive for years in the soil and germinate when conditions are favorable. So the plant keeps coming back, even after you think you’ve eradicated it. If you allow chickweed to cover your lawn it can be tough to remove. So it’s best to deal with it early.

Chickweed is well known as an edible weed. So feel free to add the flowers and leaves to your salad after you dig it up.

As well as lawns and gardens, chickweed also grows well in pastures and cultivated fields.

White Clover

white clover flowers

Botanical name: Trifolium repens

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 6-12 inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Trifolium repens
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 6-12 inches tall

White clover is one of the fastest-growing broadleaf perennials and it’s a common weed to find in your backyard.

Clover grows low to the ground. Creeping across your lawn. Growing new roots every time a stem node makes contact with the ground.

Identification of this weed is easy: look for the white tear-shaped leaflets arranged in sets of 3 around a green center.

Getting rid of white clover can be difficult if you allow it to become established. So deal with it quickly before it spreads. Hand pulling and herbicides can both do the job.

Quackgrass

Quackgrass

Botanical name: Elymus repens

Category: Perennial grassy weed

Size: Grows up to 4 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Elymus repens
  • Category: Perennial grassy weed
  • Size: Grows up to 4 ft. tall

Also known as couch grass, quackgrass is a persistent grassy weed. Quackgrass grows in sunny and shady areas of your garden and reproduces from seed. As the weed grows, straw-colored rhizomes creep across the soil forming a heavy mat and producing new shoots.

Quackgrass is fast-growing. So it’s a good idea to dig this weed out of the ground as soon as you find it. Make sure you take the roots as well.

After removing the plant, throw it in the waste bin, not in your compost. Or you’ll probably find it will continue to grow.

Purslane

Purslane

Botanical name: Portulaca oleracea

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 3-inches tall, and 2-3 ft. wide

  • Botanical Name: Portulaca oleracea
  • Category: Annual broadleaf 
  • Size: Up to 3-inches tall, and 2-3 ft. wide

Purslane is an edible weed that appears in your yard in late spring to early summer. It grows close to the ground. With smooth red stems that sprout from a central taproot. As purslane grows, it forms a mat with a 2-3 ft. diameter around the central root.

Small flowers at the end of paddle-shaped leaves quickly turn into seed pods that burst to release brown/black seeds. The seeds survive in the soil for a long time and can leave you battling purslane years into the future. So it’s important to get rid of purslane before the plant matures.

You can pull the weed out by hand, taking care to remove all of the roots. And a pre-emergent herbicide can prevent purslane seeds from germinating if you find the plant too late.

Large Crabgrass

Crabgrass

Botanical name: Digitaria sanguinalis

Category: Annual grassy weed

Size: Up to 2 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Digitaria sanguinalis
  • Category: Annual grassy weed 
  • Size: Up to 2 ft. tall

Crabgrass is an invasive weed that frustrates homeowners tending to their lawn. Although it’s a weed that looks like grass, it stands out, as crabgrass tends to grow higher than your turfgrass. And has thicker blades and a coarse texture.

Getting rid of crabgrass completely can be difficult. The problem lies in the huge volume of seeds the weed disperses. Each crabgrass plant produces around 150,000 seeds that are left behind in your yard when the plant dies each year. The next spring the weed seeds germinate, and an infestation begins.

It’s important to stop the seeds from germinating. So your best bet is a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring, preventing the weeds from sprouting.

Lambsquarters

Lambsquarters

Lambsquarters by Jim Kennedy

Botanical name: Chenopodium album

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 5 ft.

  • Botanical Name: Chenopodium album
  • Category: Annual broadleaf 
  • Size: Up to 5 ft. 

Also known as white goosefoot, lambsquarters is a common summer annual weed often found growing in gardens in the US and Canada.

In the past, lambsquarters was grown for its edible and highly nutritious leaves. But the practice has fallen out of favor due to the viral diseases the weed harbors. So it’s best to keep it out of your garden.

Lambsquarters spreads by seed after the plant flowers in late spring or early fall. So try to deal with the weed before then. It’s fairly easy to pull lambsquarters out of the ground as it only has a short taproot.

Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie

Botanical name: Glechoma hederacea

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 1-4 inches tall and several feet wide

  • Botanical Name: Glechoma hederacea 
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 1-4 inches tall and several feet wide

Also known as ground ivy, creeping charlie is a common lawn weed. It’s a low-growing plant that grows in a dense mat. And it quickly takes over if you don’t attempt to control it.

You can identify creeping charlie by its small purple flowers and square stem. It also has scalloped edged green leaves that grow in pairs on opposite sides of the stem.

Keeping your lawn thick and lush can prevent this weed type from becoming established. But once it’s spreading, creeping charlie is best controlled with a post-emergent herbicide.

Wild Violet

Wild violet

Botanical name: Viola odorata

Category: Winter annual or perennial broadleaf

Size: 6-10 inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Viola odorata
  • Category: Winter annual or perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 6-10 inches tall

Wild violet is popular with some people for the attractive wildflower it undoubtedly is. But it’s also a prolific weed. Spreading quickly by seeds and stems over areas where the plant is not wanted.

Wild violet thrives in locations that are moist and shady. But mature wild violet plants are also drought tolerant. And when violets are present in your lawn they quickly adapt to mowing, growing shorter as necessary to escape your lawnmower blade.

The solution? Hand weeding can do the job, as long as you remove all of the rhizomes. Otherwise, you’ll need a herbicide to control wild violets.

Foxtail

Green Foxtail

Botanical name: Alopecurus

Category: Annual grassy weed

Size: 1-3 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Alopecurus
  • Category: Annual grassy weed
  • Size: 1-3 ft. tall

Foxtail weeds have long and fluffy seed heads sitting at the end of grass-like stalks. This makes them resemble a fox’s tail.

Foxtail is an invasive weed species. And the weed grows easily in both dry and moist soil. It’s common to find foxtail growing in areas where the ground has been disturbed, around building sites, ditches, and roadsides.

Keeping your lawn in good health will help to prevent foxtail from becoming established in your yard. But if you need weed control, use a selective herbicide that won’t harm your grass.

Pigweed

Pigweed

Botanical name: Amaranthus retroflexus

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Grows to just over 6 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Amaranthus retroflexus
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: Grows to just over 6 ft. tall

Pigweed usually appears in late spring or early summer. It’s a tall weed with a thick stalk. You can identify pigweed by its red, fleshy taproot, green flower clusters, and dark-green pointed leaves.

There are about 60 different species of pigweed. And all of them are edible. With every part of the plant providing a nutritious and tasty snack. But it’s nicest to eat when it’s young.

You have to be careful about leaving pigweed to grow in your yard. It’s typical for each plant to produce up to 100,000 seeds. Making it difficult to completely eradicate the weed after they spread.

To get rid of pigweed you can use various broadleaf weed killers. And a pre-emergent herbicide can prevent the seeds from germinating.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed

Botanical name: Polygonum cuspidatum

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 10 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Polygonum cuspidatum
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 10 ft. tall

Japanese knotweed is a plant that strikes dread into many gardeners. And with good reason:

Japanese knotweed is a tenacious weed that spreads rapidly through rhizomes. And it’s very difficult to get rid of. Facing a Japanese knotweed plant that’s encroaching on your property is a serious battle that often requires professional help.

This noxious weed has thick bamboo stems that can grow up to 10 ft. tall. Crowding out and displacing the native plants in a large area.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettles

Botanical name: Urtica dioica

Category: Broadleaf perennial

Size: Up to 6 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide

  • Botanical Name: Urtica dioica
  • Category: Broadleaf perennial
  • Size: Up to 6 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide

Stinging nettles can be a real nuisance. Almost everyone has an unfortunate brush with a stinging nettle at some point.

The saw-tooth edge leaves with stinging hairs are the most obvious characteristic of nettles. And they also produce yellowish flower clusters. Nettles grow best in areas of moist and rich soil.

To remove stinging nettles, put on some gardening gloves and pull them out by hand. Mowing, or cutting nettle weeds down with a trimmer can also control their growth.

Giant Ragweed

Giant ragweed

Ambrosia trifida by Frank Mayfield

Botanical name: Ambrosia trifida

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 12 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Ambrosia trifida
  • Category: Annual broadleaf 
  • Size: Up to 12 ft. tall

Giant ragweed is a noxious weed that’s found in many parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Due to its size, the weed outcompetes neighboring plants for sunlight, casting them in shade, and displacing them from the area.

You can identify giant ragweed by its thick green stem that’s coated in white hairs. As well as the large lobed leaves that can span 12 inches across. Drooping clusters of small yellowish flowers hang down from a spike at the end of the upper stem.

Giant ragweed spreads through seed dispersal. Spiky burs attach themselves to animals or flow in water to new locations. It’s also worth knowing that this is a type of weed that causes allergies. The fine pollen it produces causing discomfort for hayfever sufferers.

To control giant ragweed, you can use a systemic herbicide. But multiple applications will probably be necessary.

Broad-Leaved Dock

Broad Leaved Dock

Broad-leaved dock by scizoform

Botanical name: Rumex obtusifolius

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 16-60 inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Rumex obtusifolius
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 16-60 inches tall

Broad-leaved dock looks inconspicuous when it first appears. It’s a small plant with broad green leaves with red veins. But if you don’t want dock in your garden, this is a weed to recognize early before it has a chance to set seed.

The problem?

Each plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds. And they survive in the soil for up to 80 years, waiting to germinate. Once the seeds spread around your garden, you’re guaranteed to be dealing with dock plants for years into the future.

Broadleaf dock grows a large taproot that extends down into the soil up to 4 ft. This makes it difficult to dig the weed out. It’s a lot easier to use vinegar or a herbicide on the young leaves when they first appear. If you keep killing the leaves the taproot will eventually exhaust and the plant will stop growing.

Oxalis

Oxalis

Oxalis by John Tann

Botanical name: Oxalis corniculata

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 20-inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Oxalis corniculata
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 20-inches tall

You can recognize oxalis by its light green leaves that resemble clover. As well as its small, yellow, cup-shaped flowers.

Some gardeners grow oxalis as ground cover. But for most, this weed is a nuisance that grows in both shady and sunny areas of your garden.

Mulching in the spring can prevent it from becoming established. And you can pull oxalis weeds by hand or use a good broadleaf herbicide to control their spread.

Dayflower

Dayflower

Botanical name: Commelina erecta

Category: Annual grassy weed

Size: 1-3 ft in height

  • Botanical Name: Commelina erecta
  • Category: Annual grassy weed
  • Size: 1-3 ft in height 

You’ll find dayflowers growing in shady and sunny areas of your garden. And in the summer, you’ll see its small bright blue flowers at the end of green stems.

Mulching can prevent the weed. And a pre-emergent herbicide used in the spring will stop dayflowers from growing.

Field Horsetail

Horsetail

Botanical name: Equisetum arvense

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 2 ft.

  • Botanical Name: Equisetum arvense
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 2 ft.

Horsetail is a prehistoric plant that has grown on the earth since the time of the dinosaurs. That means it’s a survivor. And many gardeners struggle to control this persistent weed.

Horsetail resembles a fern. But it doesn’t reproduce through seeds. Instead, horsetail spreads through spores and rhizomes. And the weed develops a deep and extensive root system that sends up many shoots in the area it infests.

Controlling horsetail weed can be difficult because it continuously regrows from the roots while they are alive. Careful management of soil conditions can help over a number of years. And repeated treatment with the right herbicide can also kill the plant. But it takes patience and diligence.

Henbit

Henbit

Botanical name: Lamium amplexicaule

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 12 inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Lamium amplexicaule
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 12 inches tall

Henbit is often found growing in fields, fallow areas, or around your yard. But it’s rare to find henbit in a healthy and dense lawn as it’s not a very competitive weed.

It’s easy to recognize. Henbit is a weed with purple flowers, square stems, and scallop-edged leaves. And it’s a creeping weed that grows low to the ground.

Henbit spreads by seed. So try to control it before it gets the chance to disperse them. You can use a broadleaf weed killer.

Pokeweed

Pokeweed

Botanical name: Phytolacca americana

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 2-8 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Phytolacca americana
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 2-8 ft. tall

Pokeweed is an invasive weed. It grows in dense bushes that spread rapidly, taking over an area as it displaces and affects the growth of nearby plants.

Pokeweed is easy to identify by its attractive reddish-purple berries. But don’t eat them, they’re highly poisonous. When it’s not bearing fruit you can recognize this weed by thick red stems, white flowers, and large green leaves.

Pokeweed spreads through the seeds found in the fruit. And each plant produces almost 50,000 seeds. So if you do nothing else to control pokeweed, make sure you remove the fruit. The plant has a deep taproot, so digging it out can be difficult. But you can use systemic herbicides, which are most effective when the plant is young.

Burr Medic

Burr Medic

Burr medic by John Tann

Botanical name: Medicago polymorpha

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 2 ft.

  • Botanical Name: Medicago polymorpha
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 2 ft.

Burr medic is one of the most common types of burr weeds. And if left unchecked it can quickly spread across your lawn and through your garden.

You can identify the weed by its yellow flowers, reddish-purple stems, and green serrated leaves that are grouped in threes. After the plant flowers, it produces small prickly burrs that dry up and spread.

If you can, control the plant before it sets seed. Non-selective herbicides can kill burr medic, but burrs that are left behind in your garden will be unaffected. You can also control burr medic by mowing your lawn regularly. But this won’t kill the weed.

Lawn Burweed

Lawn burweed

Lawn Burweed by Harry Rose

Botanical name: Soliva sessilis

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: 3-4 inches high, 6 inches across

  • Botanical Name: Soliva sessilis
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: 3-4 inches high, 6 inches across

Lawn burweed is also known as spurweed and stickerweed. It’s also one of a number of weeds called bindi weed.

Lawn burweed is a prickly weed that people sometimes find while walking barefoot across their lawn. The weed grows low to the ground with hairy leaves and spine-tipped burrs.

Healthy turfgrass can outcompete this weed and reduce the infestation. So good lawn care practices are a good start to getting rid of lawn burweed. Selective post-emergent weed killers are best used during the winter months when the weed is still small. You can still use herbicides in the spring, but the spines will remain even after you kill the plant.

Daisy

Daisy flower

Botanical name: Bellis perennis

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 4-6 inches tall

  • Botanical Name: Bellis perennis
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 4-6 inches tall

Daisies are common flowering weeds that you’ll often find growing on your lawn, around your yard, and in parks and pastures.

Although daisies grow and spread quickly, they’re not harmful to other plants. And many people choose to leave them. But getting rid of daisies is also quite easy.

You can use a natural weed killer containing vinegar. Or you can dig daisies out of the ground with a trowel. But even just mowing your lawn regularly can help to keep them down.

Red Sorrel

Red Sorrel

Red sorrel by docentjoyce

Botanical name: Rumex acetosella

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 18 inches

  • Botanical Name: Rumex acetosella
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 18 inches

It’s easy to identify red sorrel by its slender upright stalks, arrow-head-shaped leaves, and either red flowers (male) or yellow-green flowers (female).

Red sorrel spreads through rhizomes. And enjoys partial to full sunlight and dry conditions. Because red sorrel thrives in acidic soil it’s an indicator weed — if it takes over an area it’s worth checking the pH of the soil. Then you can adjust to a range more suitable for the plants you want to grow.

To control red sorrel weed in your yard you can use a selective herbicide. If you find sorrel growing in pastures or crop areas then it’s best to change to annual plants that can handle tillage.

The large volume of pollen produced by red sorrel can cause hay fever in sensitive people.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Botanical name: Lythrum salicaria

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: 3-10 ft. in height

  • Botanical Name: Lythrum salicaria
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: 3-10 ft. in height

For many decades, purple loosestrife was occasionally planted by gardeners as an ornamental. The plant has striking tall purple flower clusters. And large lance-shaped leaves with smooth edges.

But it’s now a notorious noxious weed. And it’s illegal to sell in most states. Purple loosestrife spreads by seeds and rhizomes. With each plant producing millions of seeds. This weed can quickly take over an area when the conditions are right. Choking out competing plant life.

Purple loosestrife is an example of a weed that grows in ponds, and around lakeshores. And this can make it difficult to control as you have to be very careful when using herbicides near aquatic environments. You can also find purple loosestrife in wet pastures, and ditches. And this weed might spread into your garden if the conditions are right.

If you dig this weed up, make sure to get all of the roots and rhizomes. And dispose of the flower heads carefully.

Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard flowers

Botanical name: Alliaria petiolata

Category: Biennial broadleaf

Size: 2-6 ft. tall

  • Botanical Name: Alliaria petiolata
  • Category: Biennial broadleaf
  • Size: 2-6 ft. tall 

Garlic mustard is a highly invasive non-native plant. It releases a chemical through its roots that inhibits the growth of nearby plants. Allowing this weed to easily displace plants growing in forests or your garden.

Garlic mustard is a biennial weed. These types of weeds take 2 years for full growth. In the first year, a small rosette of kidney-shaped leaves with toothed edges appears above the ground. In the second year, the weed grows a tall stem with small white flowers at the top.

To stop garlic mustard from taking over, it’s a good idea to quickly remove it when you find it. Make sure to remove the roots as well to stop it growing back.

Poison Ivy

poison ivy plant

Botanical name: Toxicodendron radicans

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 20-inch long

  • Botanical Name: Toxicodendron radicans
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 20-inch long

Poison ivy can be a groundcover, a shrub, or a vine. And it grows in both sunny and shady garden and landscape areas. Each leaf consists of 3 leaflets, with an alternate leaf arrangement. And each leaf has a stem that connects to the central vine.

Poison ivy is an allergenic weed that causes a skin rash after contact. So be careful when handling it and wear gloves. Poison ivy control is best achieved by cutting the vine and treating the stump with a systemic weed killer.

Spotted Spurge

Spurge

Spotted spurge by Forest and Kim Starr

Botanical name: Euphorbia maculata

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: Up to 20-inch long stems

  • Botanical Name: Euphorbia maculata
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 20-inch long stems

Spurge is often found growing on your lawn. You can identify spurge weeds by their green, oblong-shaped leaves, with serrated edges. If you look closely at the center of the leaf you’ll usually see a touch of purple or red.

Spurge germinates in the spring. So a good way to control spurge is to use a pre-emergent herbicide in late winter/early spring. Any plants that find a way to grow can be dug out or spot treated with a selective herbicide.

Kudzu

Kudzu

Botanical name: Pueraria montana

Category: Perennial broadleaf

Size: Up to 100 ft. in length

  • Botanical Name: Pueraria montana
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf
  • Size: Up to 100 ft. in length

Kudzu is an invasive weed that was introduced to the US from Asia. Its rapid spread has been devastating for the environment, with conditions allowing it to grow unchecked. And kudzu is now officially classified as a noxious weed.

Kudzu is a vine with large leaflets. Nodes along the vine propagate new stems allowing the plant to easily climb most structures. The nodes also root where they touch the soil, anchoring the weed in the ground. Kudzu prefers to grow in full sunlight. But this weed also thrives in the shade.

To control Kudzu, cut or mow the vine to the ground before treating the stumps with chemical herbicides. It sometimes takes multiple applications and several seasons to stop kudzu from regrowing.

Black Nightshade

Solanum Nigrum

Black nightshade by Vinayaraj

Botanical name: Solanum nigrum

Category: Annual broadleaf

Size: It can grow to 2 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide

  • Botanical Name: Solanum nigrum
  • Category: Annual broadleaf
  • Size: It can grow to 2ft. tall and 2 ft. wide

The main places you’ll find black nightshade are disturbed areas of land such as roadsides, cultivated land, wasteland, and river banks. The plant features alternate leaves on short stalks, clusters of small white flowers, and dark globular fruit. All parts of this weed are poisonous.

Spraying with herbicide is the most effective method of controlling black nightshade. Pulling weeds by hand is another option when the plant is young, but you’ll often need to repeat it.

Poison Sumac

Poison Sumac

Poison sumac by Joshua Mayer

Botanical name: Toxicodendron vernix

Category: Perennial broadleaf shrub or small tree

Size: Usually around 6-feet, but it can grow up to 20-feet

  • Botanical Name: Toxicodendron vernix
  • Category: Perennial broadleaf shrub or small tree
  • Size: Usually around 6-feet, but it can grow up to 20-feet

Poison sumac is an example of a weed tree. And nobody wants to find this growing on their land. If you do, it’s best to remove it quickly before it can spread.

So what’s the big problem with poison sumac?

Every part of the plant is poisonous. Poison sumac produces an oil called urushiol that’s released when the plant is crushed or bruised. If your skin brushes against the plant this oil triggers an allergic response, causing a rash.

You’ll find poison sumac growing in wet, swampy, or boggy areas. You can identify the weed by its red stems. With leaves arranged in 7-13 pairs of smooth-edged leaflets with V-shaped points. Poison sumac also produces small yellow flowers and white berries.

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