10 Weeds With Red Flowers

Have you found some weeds with red flowers in your yard?

Red flowering weeds are not as common as weeds with pink flowers or weeds with white flowers. In fact, they’re fairly uncommon. This narrows down the possibilities and makes identification more likely.

So this article, I’ll show you the most common types. And give you the important information you need to know about these eye-catching weeds.

Let’s dive in!

10 Weeds With Red Flowers

Red Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)

Red Sorrel


Also known as field sorrel and sour weed, red sorrel is a perennial weed that’s native to Eurasia and the British Isles. It’s also an introduced species in the United States where it grows widely.

Red sorrel is a noxious weed that spreads aggressively by rhizomes and seeds, and control of the plant can be difficult. The seeds can remain viable in the soil for over 25 years, and the weed can regrow from fragments if you don’t remove or kill the whole root and rhizome system.

The red sorrel plant is a weed with a slender, branched red stem that grows up to 20 inches tall. When the weed blooms from March to November, small flowers grow around the branches. The female plants produce dark red flowers and the male plants produce yellowish-green flowers (1).

Red sorrel flowers on red stems

The leaves of the plant are small, arrowhead-shaped, and grow in a rosette. And they’re edible, with a tart flavor that’s reminiscent of sour apples or lemons. But although it’s safe for people to eat in small quantities, it’s not safe for livestock to graze. The weed contains high levels of oxalic acid which can cause kidney problems after large consumption.

Red sorrel is an indicator weed. The plant grows well in acidic, nutrient-poor soils. So if you find red sorrel taking over your yard, it’s a good idea to check the pH. If it’s acidic, you can make adjustments that encourage the growth of desirable plants.

Red sorrel is a type of flowering weed that produces large quantities of pollen that can cause hay fever.

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)

Scarlet Pimpernel

Anagallis arvensis by Peter O’Connor

Also called red pimpernel and red chickweed, scarlet pimpernel is an annual broadleaf weed. A native plant of Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, the plant is now naturalized worldwide.

This red weed is quick to invade neglected lawns and gardens. But it’s not usual to find scarlet pimpernel in well-cared-for lawns. And if you find the weed starting to grow, you can get rid of it by regular mowing. You’ll also find this weed growing in pastures, agricultural land, and other disturbed, open areas.

Scarlet Pimpernel Flower

The scarlet pimpernel is a low-growing plant that thrives in damp soil. People sometimes mistake this weed for common chickweed because the small, oval leaves look similar. The plant grows up to 8-inches in height and has square-shaped stems

The weed flowers from June to September. The small flowers are orange or red and have 5 petals. The flowers are closed most of the time and only open when the sun shines.

You can use a selective weedkiller to control scarlet pimpernel, but it may need more than one application.

Broad-Leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)

Broad Leaved Dock Flowers

This weed is also known as bitter dock, butter dock, and bluntleaf dock. You can find this plant throughout the world and it’s considered an aggressive and invasive weed in temperate areas.

Dock blooms from June to September. The flowers occur in panicles on long, upright stalks that rise above the leaves from the center of the plant. To begin with, the flowers have a greenish color, but they gradually change to brownish-red.

Broad Leaved Dock

The broad-leaved dock is well-known for its large oval leaves that are larger at the base than at the rounded tips. The leaves have wavy edges. And sometimes, the lower leaves have red stems

Broad-leaved dock spreads through seeds and rhizomes. Each plant can produce around 60,000 seeds that remain viable in the soil for up to 80 years, germinating when the conditions are right. So even when you clear an area of dock, you can still find it returning year after year. Making it difficult to completely eradicate.

Regular cutting or mowing can reduce the spread of seeds and deplete the energy reserves in the taproot, inhibiting growth. Herbicides are the easiest way to control broad-leaved dock.

Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)

Mexican butterfly weeds

Tropical milkweed is also known as the red-head cotton bush, bloodflower, Mexican butterfly weed, and scarlet milkweed. The plant is native to Central America and is an introduced species in the southern states of the US. It’s often grown by gardeners as an ornamental plant. But you can also find it growing as a weed in fields, pastures, and along roadsides.

The weed has eye-catching orange and red flowers. The flowers are small, 5-petalled, and grow in clusters. The corona of the flowers is orange and grows inside the red petals, looking like another set of petals that face the flower center.

Tropical Milkweed

Tropical milkweed grows to around 3-4 feet tall. With branched or simple stems. And medium green leaves that are narrow and have a point at both ends. The leaves can grow up to 6 inches long.

Regular cutting can help to control this weed.

Red Witchweed (Striga asiatica)

Red Witchweed

Striga asiatica by Florida Division of Plant Industry Archive, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red witchweed is a native of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. But it’s also an introduced plant in many parts of the world including the United States and Australia.

Red witchweed is a parasitic weed that grows on the roots of certain types of grass, including some commercially important species. The weed usually grows up to 12 inches tall, with hairy, green stems and narrow lanceolate leaves that are about an inch long.

Red Witchweed

The weed produces small red flowers in summer and fall that grow in loose spikes. But sometimes the flowers occur in other colors. Sometimes it’s a weed with white flowers and you can also find it in pink or yellow (2). Following the flowers, seed pods develop, each containing thousands of tiny seeds.

Chemical herbicides are the best way to control red witchweed.

Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

Red Poppy

The common poppy is an annual broadleaf weed that you’ll often see growing in fields, grasslands, and beside roads. In the northern hemisphere, the weed usually fblooms in late spring, with vivid red flowers. Each flower consists of 4 slightly overlapping red petals that often have a black spot at their base.

Common poppy plants can produce up to 400 flowers in a season, with each flower only lasting for one day. The poppies grow singly at the end of long stems that are covered in coarse hairs.

Wild poppy

The weed spreads by seeds contained in hairless, egg-shaped capsules, with each plant producing somewhere between 10,000 to 60,000 seeds that can survive in the soil for more than 8 years before germination. After the plant flowers, it takes about 3-4 weeks for the seeds to ripen and shed.

Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum)

Crimson Clover

Crimson clover is also called Italian clover and scarlet clover. It’s a cool season annual that’s widely used as a forage crop for livestock and cattle. But in some locations, it’s become an invasive weed that displaces desirable vegetation.

Crimson clover blooms throughout the spring and summer. The weed has tiny red flowers that grow about 10-13 mm long. Each flower has 5 petals. And about 40-50 flowers cluster together to make up the flowerhead of the plant.

Crimson clover flower

The plant grows between 8-20 inches tall, with trifoliate leaves that are connected to the stem by a long petiole. Each leaflet is heart-shaped and hairy.

To control crimson clover, apply a post-emergent herbicide while the plant is young and actively growing.

Slender Pigweed (Amaranthus viridis)

Slender pigweed


Slender pigweed, also known as smooth pigweed or slim amaranth, is a plant that belongs to the amaranth family. It usually grows up to 4 feet tall with a central green stem and alternately arranged dark-green leaves that sometimes have a purplish or reddish hue. The leaves of this plant are typically ovate to lanceolate with pointed tips and droop from the stem on long petioles.

The weed’s small red flowers grow in dense, bristly spikes at the top of the upper stem and are visible from late summer to early fall.

Slender Pigweed Flowers


You can find slender pigweed in a variety of habitats, including fields, gardens, and disturbed areas like roadsides or construction sites. It prefers well-drained soils but can tolerate a wide range of soil types, from sandy to heavy clay. This plant can spread quickly and is known for producing large amounts of seed that can remain viable in the soil for many years.

To control smooth pigweed, prevent the plant from setting seed. Hand-pull or hoe the plants before they flower, or use a herbicide. If the plant has already produced seeds, remove them before they spread. Maintaining healthy soil and preventing soil disturbance can help prevent smooth pigweed from establishing itself in an area.

Florida Tasselflower (Emilia fosbergii)

Florida Tasselflower

Florida tasselflower typically grows about 1-2 feet tall, with slender stems and narrow leaves. Its most striking feature, however, is its vibrant tassel-like flowers, which come in bright red, pink, and light purple shades.

The flowers of Florida tasselflower are small and bell-shaped, with 50 or more disk florets that form a tassel-like cluster at the top of each stem. These flowers are great at attracting bees and other pollinators.

The weed has a branched taproot system that grows fairly deep and spreads by self-seeding. To control the spread of this weed, act before it produces seeds.

Florida Tasselflower bud

One way to control Florida tasselflower is to pull unwanted plants by hand or dig them out with a shovel. This is especially effective if the plant is still young and has not yet formed a strong root system. To prevent the plant from regrowing, make sure you remove all of the roots.

Florida tasselflower is a tough and resilient plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. It’s native to Florida and other southeastern states, where you’ll often find it growing in fields, meadows, and along roadsides. It prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. In Central America and The Caribbean, tasselflower is an invasive weed.

Jupiter’s Beard (Centranthus ruber)

Jupiter's Beard

Jupiter’s beard, also known as Red Valerian or devil’s beard, is a beautiful perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region but introduced to other parts of the world, including North America.

The plant can reach 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) and has a bushy, upright growth habit. The leaves are lance-shaped, gray-green in color, and grow on opposite sides of the stems.

The flowers bloom in dense clusters at the stem tips and are typically pink or red in color, although some varieties can also produce white flowers (3). The blooms are highly-attractive to butterflies and bees.

Jupiter's Beard Flowers

Jupiter’s beard is a tough and hardy plant that can tolerate a range of growing conditions, including heat, drought, and poor soil. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil.

The plant spreads easily through self-seeding and can become invasive in some areas if left unchecked. Deadhead the flowers regularly to stop the weed from spreading and remove any seedlings that appear in unwanted areas. If necessary, you can control the weed through manual removal or by using a herbicide.

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  1. RUMEX ACETOSELLA – https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/rumex-acetosella/
  2. RED WITCHWEED: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW – https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/declared-plants/red-witchweed-what-you-should-know
  3. JUPITER’S BEARD, A DEDICATED POLLINATOR – https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=55322

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