12 Most Common Weeds

Learn how to identify and remove common weeds that may be taking over your lawn and garden spaces with this gallery.

Common Yarrow DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

This common weed bears clusters of creamy white flowers and has narrow, featherlike foliage that releases an aroma when crushed. It thrives in dry, arid, sandy conditions and often indicates a lack of nutrients in the soil. Pull out the rhizomes by hand. H: 20 inches; S: 12 inches

Daisy Weed DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Daisy weed (Bellis perennis)

The most common perennial weed in lawns, daisies have white petals and a yellow center. They have green, spoon-shaped leaves that form clusters of rosettes in the grass. They are very resilient to close mowing, so use a daisy grubber to remove them. H: 3 inches; S: 6 inches

Pink Creeping Thistle Weed DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense)

This weed is often a problem in recently seeded lawns or in bare patches in existing grass. It has light purple flowerheads and spiky, wavy, thistlelike leaves, which are unpleasant to sit or walk on. Dig them out using a daisy grubber or fork. H: 4 feet; S: 18 inches

Ground Ivy is Common Weed DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

This persistent, spreading perennial bears clusters of violet-blue flowers that are held high above the round, glossy, scalloped leaves. The aromatic foliage has pronounced veins and surrounds the stems. If necessary, apply an appropriate weedkiller. H: 10 inches; S: 16 inches

Greater Plantain Grows in Abundance DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Greater plantain (Plantago major)

This perennial has broad, oval-shaped foliage with pronounced rib markings; the leaves will rapidly smother the grass underneath. The flowers are pale greenish-gray, borne on single stems. Dig it out, then mow regularly to prevent the seed from spreading. H: 6 inches; S: 8 inches

Self-Heal's Roots Belong to the Mint Family DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)

A member of the mint family, this perennial can rapidly colonize a lawn using its spreading, underground runners. It has attractive, purplish-blue hooded flowers, and the leaves are borne in pairs along its squarish stems. Apply an appropriate weedkiller. H: 8 inches; S: 12 inches

Charming Yellow Buttercups DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

Preferring damp soils, the buttercup is a good indicator that drainage may be required. It rapidly spreads using its creeping root system and has small, bright yellow flowers borne on erect stems with three-lobed, toothed foliage. Dig out established plants. H: 24 inches; S: 18 inches

Sheep Sorrel Found in Many Areas DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella)

A lover of dry, acidic soil conditions, this common perennial has unusual, arrow-shaped leaves and produces small, green flowers that turn to pinkish-red seedheads. Ensure that you dig out the entire taproot to prevent the plant from regenerating. H: 10 inches; S: 16 inches

Common Ragwort Common Weed Found in Many Areas DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)

This biennial weed has bluish-green lobed leaves and bright yellow, star-shaped flowers. It seeds prolifically and so should be removed with a fork at an early stage of its growth. Because of the toxins it produces, wear gloves when weeding. H: 32 inches; S: 10 inches

Dandelion Weeds DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Producing single, bright yellow flowerheads that turn into balls of white, fluffy seedheads, this perennial weed has shiny, elongated, toothed rosettes of foliage. Its deep, fleshy taproot needs to be totally removed or it will rapidly regenerate. H: 12 inches; S: 8 inches

Common Weed: White Clover DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

White clover (Trifolium repens)

A common weed, often found on nutrient-rich soil, white clover has small, three-lobed leaves and white or sometimes pinkish flowers. It is a perennial weed and spreads by runners that can quickly smother the lawn; lift these with a rake, then mow. H: 8 inches; S: 16 inches

Slender Speedwell DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Slender speedwell (Veronica filiformis)

This perennial has kidney-shaped leaves when young that develop into rounded, serrated foliage. Similar in appearance to ground ivy, it also bears blue-purplish flowers. It spreads by underground and overground runners; kill it using a hoe. H: 4 inches; S: 20 inches

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