What are Broadleaf Weeds?
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated November 8, 2021)
If you are new to gardening, then chances are you have heard the term broadleaf weed but never really knew what it meant. The thing is, just about everyone has come into contact with these kinds of weeds, and some are even loved by children (the dandelion for example). Knowing what broadleaf weeds are can be a huge help in knowing what you need to get rid of, and what you may want to keep. Here are a few examples of some broadleaf weeds. Keep in mind that this is only a small example, as there are literally hundreds of different types.
- Curly Dock. Also known as Rumex crispus L. is a perennial broadleaf weed that tends to look something like a squashed spider. The leaves are about six to eight inches long, and no more than two inches wide. These leaves are also usually tinged with reddish purple, and will produce greenish flowers if left unchecked.
- Ground Ivy. This broadleaf weed has a tendency to creep along the ground, from a central location. The ivy (also known as Glenchoma hederacea L.) forms dense patches that will thrive in both direct sunlight and in the shade, and frankly spreads like wildfire. The leaves on this weed will be round, though scalloped along the sides, and will have a heavily veined appearance on the surface. In addition, these leaves also have a rough appearance, and will be opposite each other on a shared square shaped stem. If left to grow too long, they will produce some blue or violet colored funnel shaped flowers.
- White Clover. White clover (Trifolium repens L.) has a tendency to produce a rather delicate looking white flower if allowed to grow too long. While it may be rather pretty to look at (for a weed) this broadleaf weed will have three tiny leaves that surround a long erect pole that will eventually produce the white flower mentioned earlier. The flower will appear in clusters that can be up to 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
- Common Yellow Woodsorrel. This herbaceaous broadleaf weed is also a perennial one that has some fairly hairy stems that allow it to stand up no lower than four inches, and as high as 10. The leaves of Oxalis dillenii Jacq. are divided into three littler leaflets, which have a heart shaped appearance. When allowed to grow too long, between two and nine flowers will bloom, each a bright yellow that has five petals. Another identifying feature of this plant is that it has an extremely shallow taproot, which means that it should be fairly easy to pull up.
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