Florida Weed Identification
Where do you start? Seems every time you get rid of one weed, two more pop up! For those of your that are our client, you don’t have to worry. We keep you lawn looking amazing all year long. We know how to target all these specific weeds. If you are determined to figure it out alone, we have the following identification information below. When you are ready to leave this up to the pros, give us a call at Lawncare Extraordinaire!
Medicago lupulina L. is a taprooted summer annual or, less commonly, a winter annual or biennial. Black Medic is dark green in appearance, with leaves composed of three leaflets on long petioles. Black Medic can be found throughout the continental United States and Hawaii – especially in lesser or unmaintained turf.
Carolina False Dandelion
Pyrrhopappus carolinianus is a winter annual or biennial with pale-green erect, branched flowering stems with bright yellow flowers at the ends. Leaves are sharply pointed, with complete or deeply-lobed margins. Carolina False Dandelion can be found in the Southern United States, west to Texas, into Kansas and as far north as Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Geranium carolinianum L. is a semi-erect 8-28 inch tall winter annual or biennial. It can be identified by the greenish-pink to red, densely hairy stems as well as its round to oval, hairy leaves, with blunt-toothed margins. Carolina Geranium can be found throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.
Erechtites hieracifolia is a robust summer annual identified by its spiraling, alternating elliptic to lance-shaped leaves with narrow, sharp-pointed bases on the lower part of the stem and clasping based on the upper. American Burnweed flowers late-spring through fall and can be found throughout most of Eastern, Central and Southern United States.
Kummerowia striata is a freely-branched summer annual legume with leaves that alternate with three egg-shaped to oblong, smooth leaflets with a short spur at the tip of each. Leaflets also have prominent mid veins with parallel veins. Common Lespedeza is common in the Southern Unites States, north to Pennsylvania and west to Texas, Kansas and Missouri.
Youngia japonica is a warm season annual that can be identified by the flowering stalks that branch from the uppermost part of the plant. Flowers are yellow to orange-yellow with five tiny teeth at the end of the outermost petals. Asiatic Hawksbeard can be found in Pennsylvania, south through Florida and west into Louisiana.
Axonopus affinis is a mat-forming perennial that can be identified by its smooth leaf blades with rounded tips. Typically, a few long hairs are present on the leaf sheath at the base of the blade. Often found coexisting in centipede lawns. Carpetgrass is found in the Coastal Plain of the Gulf states including Florida, north to North Carolina and west to Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Mollugo verticillatais a prostrate summer annual with smooth leaves that are light green in color and spoon-shaped. Leaves are arranged in whorls of five to six per node. Carpetweed flowers white, tiny, flowers arranged in clusters of two to five in mid-summer through early fall. It can be found throughout most of the United States.
Hypochoeris radicata is a perennial weed with multiply yellow upright flowers that resemble Dandelions. Cat’s-ear Dandelions can be differentiated by the toothed and slightly pointed edges of the leaves. Cat’s-ear Dandelions can be found along the eastern seaboard from New Jersey to Florida and west to Mississippi.
Phyllanthus urinaria L. is a warm-season annual broadleaf weed that is also known as gripeweed and little mimosa. Chamberbitter is identifiable by its two rows fo leaves arranged oppositely on branchlets. The leaves are thin, with smooth margins. Chamberbitter is found from Texas to Florida, as well as in the tropics.
Trifolium arvense is a winter annual with densely hairy leaves and stems. Rabbitfoot Clover is identified by alternating leaves with three, narrow, oblong leaflets and smooth leaf margins with small teeth-like projections at the tip. Rabbitfoot Clover can be found throughout the Southeastern United States to the central peninsula of Florida, west to Louisiana and north to Missouri.
Lolium perenne is a winter annual or perennial that is often a weed leftover from seeding of these grasses in the fall. These plants can become clumpy and unsightly in appearance. Perennial ryegrass is a low-growing, tufted, hairless grass, lacking stolen or rhizomes. Leaves are dark green, smooth and glossy on the lower surface, with un-toothed parallel sides and prominent parallel veins on the upper surface.
Stellaria media is a mat-forming winter annual or short-lived perennial in temperate regions and is identified by alternating, shiny leaves – egg or oval, to broadly elliptic, in shape. Upper leaves are without petiole; while the lower leaves have sparsely, hairy long petiole. Found throughout North America with the exception of the Rocky Mountains.
Veronica arvensis L. is a low-growing winter annual with two levels of leaves. The lower leaves are near rounded with toothed margins while the upper leaves are smaller in size and more linear in shape. Corn Speedwell can be found throughout the United States, with the exclusion of the Rocky Mountain Region.
Digitaria sanguinalis L. is a summer annual identified by leaf blades that are longer than two inches and are usually hairy and rolled in the bud. Large Crabgrass germinates in early spring and is found throughout the United States with the exception of Florida.
Desmodium canum is a perennial which grows from a large taproot with long, extensively branched hairy runners rooting at nodes. Leaves maintain a trifoliate appearance that varies in size with an elliptic shape including a pointed tip. Creeping Beggarweed is found throughout Florida and in southern Texas.
Paspalum dilatatum also known as Caterpillar grass, Dallisgrass is a warm-season clumpy perennial with tall, pointed, membranous ligules. Leaves are rolled in the bud, fat and wide, with fine hairs on the lower section of the leaf. Dallisgrass can be found throughout the Southern United States from the mid-Atlantic west to Tennessee.
Taraxacum officinale is a stemless perennial. With its deep taproots, the Dandelion is identified by the single yellow flower at the end of each long, hollow stalk. When the weed matures, the yellow flower matures into white, puff balls containing seeds. Dandelion can be found throughout the continental United states, Alaska and Hawaii.
Dichondra carolinensis is a creeping, prostrate perennial that roots at the nodes. Dichondra leaves are light pale green and are sparsely hairy. Leaves are nearly round to kidney-shaped. Dichondra occurs in moist turf and woods and can be found from Virginia to Texas.
Eupatorium capillifolium is a tall-growing, short-lived perennial which can be identified by its deeply dissected leaves that appear as fine hair-like linear segments. Feathery in appearance, lower leaves are opposite while upper leaves alternate. Dogfennel is found in Massachusetts and New Jersey, south to Florida and west to Texas and Arkansas.
Hydrocotyle spp.also called Pennywort, is a summer perennial weed common in Florida and Texas, among other warm season states. There are actually several species of dollarweed. Leaves are round in shape, approximately one inch in diameter. Weed leaves hold a bright green hue and are shiny, with scalloped margins.
Murdannia nudiflora is a summer annual identified by its fleshy, narrow lance-shaped leaves as well as its stems that root at nodes. Doveweed is also identified by short leaf sheaths with short hairs on the upper margins. Doveweed usually germinates later in the growing season than other summer annuals and can be found from Virginia, into Georgia, through Florida and west into Texas.
Facelis retusa is a winter annual with freely branched stems at teh base. Facelis leaves are narrow in shape with a dull green upper surface and a lower surface covered with white turfs of long hairs. Facelis can be found in Tennessee and North Carolina, and south into north Florida and west to Texas and Oklahoma.
Stachys floridana is a smooth or hairy, freely branched upright perennial herb. Leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem and are lance shaped with rounded margins. Florida Betony branches from slender underground stems with segmented tubers. Native to Florida, Florida Betony can now be found from Virginia to Texas.
Richardia scabra L. is a summer annual with branched, densely hairy stems from a taproot. The alternating leaves are oval-shaped and slightly rough with hairy margins and can be identified by its white, tubular, clustered flowers at the end of its branches. Florida Pusley can be found in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwestern Unites States.
Eleusine indica is a summer annual with compressed, often flattened, stems radiating outward from a center point that is white/gray in color. Leaves are smooth, folded in the bud, occasionally with hair near the base. Goosegrass can be found throughout temperate and warm regions of the United States.
Eragrostis ciliarisis an erect summer annual with smooth leaves that have hairs on the upper margins of the leaf sheaths. Gophertail Lovegrass can also be identified by its rolled venation. It can be found in New Jersey, south into Florida and west into Texas.
Kyllinga brevifolia is a mat-forming perennial sedge with dark green leaves and stems. Green Kyllinga grows up to six inches in height. Its seedhead is initially pale-green in color, turning brown at maturity. The seed head usually has three short leaves just below. Green Kyllinga can be found from Georgia into south Florida and west to Texas and California.
Soliva sessilis is a low-growing, freely branched winter annual. Leaves alternate with sparse hair and are twice divided into narrow lobes. Lawn Burweed occurs in most turf and is generally found in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions of most southern states, as well as in North Carolina, south into Florida and west to Texas.
Cerastium vulgatum is a winter perennial with alternating leaves that are oblong and covered with hair. Prostrate overall, Mouse-ear Chickweed will have several upright stems. The weed can further be identified by the white flowers containing five pedals that are notched at the ends. Mouse-ear Chickweed can be found throughout the United States.
Plantago aristatais a winter annual with basal leaves that grow from a taproot. Bracted Plantain can be identified by its dark green, soft, hairy to smooth, long linear – grass-like – leaves. Bracted Plantain can be found in most southern states, north to Michigan, and west to Texas, California, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
Plantago major is a perennial herb that can be identified by its distinctive basal rosette of leaves and fibrous root system. Broadleaf Plantain leaves are egg-shaped, with parallel main veins and can be found throughout the United States with the exception of Northeastern United States.
Poa annua is a small clumped, yellow-green winter annual. Leaf blades are smooth on both surfaces with keeled or boat-shaped tips while the sheath is smooth, compressed and keeled. Poa annua can be found in excessively wet, compacted soils throughout much of the United States.
Polygonum aviculare is a mat-forming, summer annual identifiable by its blue-green colored, alternating leaves. Leaves are smooth, oblong to linear in appearance and joined to the stem by a sheathing membrane. The annual flowers from late spring until frost and is found throughout the United States.
Gnaphalium purpureum L. can be found in cooler climates as an upright summer or winter annual, or as a biennial in warmer climates. Purple Cudweed develops from a basal rosette of leaves and the upper surface of the leaves is covered with woolly white hairs.
Portulaca oleracea is a prostrate, mat-forming summer annual. Leaves alternate or are positioned nearly opposite, with a slightly spoon or wedge-shaped shape. Leaves are rounded at the tip, narrowed at the base. Common Purslane is found throughout the United States, but is more common in the Northwest, while less common in the Pacific Northwest.
Bromus catharticus is a cool-seasoned perennial bunchgrass. rescuegrass grows between two to four feet in height and can be further identified by its flat leaf blades of up to a foot in length. Rescuegrass can be found in the Southern United States, north to Oklahoma and west to New Mexico and California.
Chamaesyce hirta is a taprooted warm season annual with erect, hairy branched stems. Leaves are opposite, with differentiating base as well as being hairy with teeth on the margins. Flowering mid-through late-summer, Garden Spurge can be found in South Carolina, south throughout Florida and west to Alabama.
Chamaesyce maculata is a summer annual with freely branched prostrate, mat-forming stems from a central taproot. Stems, when broken, have a “milky” sap. Spotted Spurge tends to germinate in the spring and can be found along the Eastern United States as well as west to North Dakota and Texas, and into California and Oregon.
Paspalum setaceum also called Bull Paspalum, is a warm-season perennial in the family Poaceae, found throughout much of the United States but primarily along the eastern corridor. Thin Paspalum can be identified by its flat, hairy to almost smooth, leaf blades. This weed produces short rhizomes and can form a clump.
Oxalis stricta is a herbaceous perennial found in warmer climates and annual in cooler areas. Yellow Woodsorrel is identified by its green to yellow-green, alternating leaves, divided into three partly-folded, lobes appearing heart-shaped. It can be found in most of the Eastern and Central United States.
Gnaphalium americanum is an erect summer or winter annual or biennial with a prominent rosette of basal leaves. Leaves are bright, shiny green on the upper surface, and densely white hair beneath. It can be found in Southern Florida throughout the southeast, north to New York, west to Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas and Texas – as well as in Oregon.