Identifying Perennial Weeds
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 24, 2020)
No one really likes weeds, and frankly they can create all kinds of difficulties for you. However, if you don't take the proper steps in identifying them, you can easily mistake a persistent perennial weed for one that will only last for a single season. (Perennial weeds are those that survive through the winter, dormant, and then come back year after year.)
The trick is to identify perennial weeds. Listed below are some of the more common perennial weeds, along with a brief description of them to help you learn what they look like. One of the main problems with perennial weeds is that if you don't take the proper action in dealing with them they can easily grow out of control until they ruin the looks of your lawn or your garden.
- Oxalis. A Broadleaf perennial, it will typically grow up to 20 inches tall, and loves both sunny and shady landscapes. At first glance, this broad leaf weed looks an awful lot like clover, except that it will have cup shaped flowers in the summer and fall if you let it last that long.
- Dandelion. These are perhaps the single most popular or common type of perennial broadleaf weed around. This is in large part due to the fact that they can grow pretty much anywhere in the shade or sun. Dandelions grow singly and in patches, and can reach up to 12 inches tall. On the average the largest patch will only be about 16 inches wide. The leaves are usually deeply notched, have yellow flowers, and if left to fully mature will turn into white puffballs that will spread the seeds around.
- Curly Dock. This 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.
- Bindweed. Another broadleaf perennial, this weed can grow up to six feet in height, and simply adores landscaped and garden areas. You can identify these weeds by their arrow shaped leaves that grow on vines that twine around the stem, and will produce a pale pink or white flower that is reminiscent of morning glory. Keep in mind that this weed can produce a vine that will wander up to 30 feet away from the mother, and spread out from there.
- Nutsedge. This is a grassy perennial that can grow up to two feet tall and about one foot wide. It can easily be found in areas that have moist soil, and sun or shade. You can also find it in your lawn, landscape efforts, and even the garden areas of your home. It will have shiny grassy leaves and a nutlike tuber root.
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