Weed ID Index

Identifying common weeds around the Ft. Worth Texas area

– HENBIT –

Henbit is a rather peculiar weed.

To start, it’s got an odd name. Some say it’s because the leaves look like chicken feet (or “hen feet”), while others argue that the plant is even more similar to a rabbit, or “bunny.”

What do you think?

We’re not sure where the name came from, but we do know that Henbit is a winter annual weed with greenish to purplish, tender, square stems. Its opposite leaves are broadly egg-shaped with bluntly toothed margins and prominent veins on the underside. Upper leaves are sessile (directly attached to the stem), and lower leaves have petioles. It has a fibrous root system and can grow to a height of 16 inches. Henbit’s distinctive flowers are reddish-purple with darker coloring in spots on lower petals. It blooms in the spring with the flowers arranged in whorls in the upper leaves.

dandelion weed illustration

– DANDELION –

Have you ever blown on a dandelion and watched the seeds float away? If so, next time you do it, know that you’re just helping to spread the world’s most notorious lawn weed.

A dandelion (taraxacum) is distinguishable by its thick roots, tooth-like leaves, and bright yellow flowers that turn into a ball of seeds. While many people like to pick them and blow the seeds off in order to watch them float away, this actually encourages the weed to spread.

– ASTER –

You may be wondering, “What is weedy aster?”

Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask a botanist, they will tell you it’s a short-lived broadleaf perennial plant that can grow up to 4 feet tall.

But if you ask a gardener, they will tell you it’s just a weed. In most cases, weedy forms of aster grow in clumps. Stems can be woody near the base as they mature. Leaves are small and hug close to the plant’s stem. In some types of aster, leaves and stems may be hairy, while in others they may be bare. Most weedy varieties of aster produce flowers that have a bright yellow central disc that are actually considered tiny flowers.

They are surrounded by a ray of petals that can range in color but generally are white, purple, or pale pink in color.

Thistle Weed Illustration

– THISTLE –

Thistles are the meanest neighbor in your flowerbed: they grow tall and spiny, they send out roots that invade your precious herbs and flowers, they keep all the cool bees and birds to themselves, and they just look nasty.

But how did these baddies invade your garden in the first place? It’s not like you invited them over.

The truth is, thistles are a non-native species that found their way into our fields and gardens as weed seeds accidentally hidden among shipments of crop seeds or in the ballast of ships. Some thistles even release chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants!

It’s no surprise then that 22 states have declared these plants noxious weeds. The best way to get rid of thistles is to minimize soil disturbance and cover bare soils with mulch—but we know, good luck getting that done when you’ve got these spiky guys around!

Fungus and Mushroom Illustration

– FUNGUS –

There are few things more frustrating than spending all of your free time (and then some) perfecting your lawn and garden, only to have the process destroyed by a fungus and mushrooms that seemingly appear overnight.

Whether you’re concerned about how it will impact your curb appeal or what it could mean for your health and safety, you have a right to be worried.

Causes of Lawn Fungal Disease

Your lawn is naturally full of fungi and spores, some harmless and some problematic, but the right (or wrong) conditions can cause grass fungus to erupt into a harmful disease. The most common causes of a lawn fungal disease are:

  • Drought
  • Improper mowing (especially mowing too low)
  • Compacted soil
  • Overwatering
  • Too much fertilizer (or using the wrong kind)
  • Wrong grass type for your yard
  • Weather conditions (particularly temperature and humidity)
Sedge Illustration

– SEDGE –

Lawn sedge, unlike its namesake, is not a grass. It’s actually more closely related to palm trees than it is to the green stuff you put on your sandwiches for lunch.

Sedge bears seed heads with three branches, which look like a goosefoot, and if you look really close, you’ll see that it has triangular stems. You can also tell by running your hand over the plant: sedge leaves have rough edges and feel prickly to the touch.

The bad news is that sedge is incredibly hardy and can adapt quickly to environmental changes. It also spreads easily through seeds and rhizomes—a system of roots that’s great at storing energy and spreading out over a large area of ground. The good news? There are lots of options for killing sedge.

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Weed ID Index