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.
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.
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.
Diodia virginiana is a mat-forming spreading perennial herb. Leaves are elliptic to lance-shaped and are joined across the stem by a lightly hairy membrane. Leaves are dark green and shiny, with white tubular flowers at each leaf axel. The weed can be found in New Jersey, west to Illinois and Missouri and south into the Gulf Coast 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.
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 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.
Spurweed is predominant in the warmer climates of the United States and emerges in winter as an annual plant. In late spring, the real nuisance begins when the plant sets fruit. The fruits are similar to small cones and are barbed and spiny. Once the little cones are formed, the plant has plenty of seed to set for the next year’s crop and you are stuck dealing with it for another season. Spurweed control will have to wait until the coming fall when plants emerge.
A better method for eliminating spurweeds is to use an appropriate post-emergent herbicide in winter or a pre-emergent one in fall before germination has occurred. That way you can hit the plants before they form the damaging seed heads or cones. There are several formulas for spurweed control but they all rely on control when the plant is young.
Lawn Spurweed Information
You can always pull the weeds, but the fibrous roots tend to break away and the plant can return. This is just a temporary fix anyway, as numerous seeds from the plant wait in soil for an ideal time to germinate.
Spurweed plants, also known as lawn burweed, are found in ditches, meadows, turf, roadsides and damaged plots. The plants are low growing and produce long rangy stems filled with hairy leaves and sticky stems. The stems have purple mottling and alternate palmate leaves.
You can use a pre-emergent herbicide in early October to early November before the seeds have germinated. A post-emergent application should wait until you see the tiny parsley-like plants, which is usually January or February. Once you have identified them, you can use formulas of Dicamba, 2, 4D, or MCPP. Follow the directions carefully for a two- or three-way mixture as recommended by the manufacturer.