Arkansas weeds (Here are the most common)

Arkansas is home to a wide variety of weeds, which can be found in various habitats such as lawns, gardens, and natural areas. These weeds can be a nuisance to homeowners and gardeners, as they often compete with desirable plants for resources and can be difficult to control.

Some of the most common Arkansas weeds include annuals, perennials, and woody plants, each with their own unique characteristics and growth habits. While some weeds may be harmless, others can be invasive and cause significant damage to the environment.

Understanding the different types of weeds found in Arkansas can help individuals better manage and control these unwanted plants.

noxious weeds arkansas

Table of Contents

Arkansas weeds

Name of weed Family
Barnyardgrass Poaceae
Bermudagrass Poaceae
Bittercress Brassicaceae
Bluegrass Poaceae
Buttercup Ranunculaceae
Carpetweed Aizoaceae
Chamberbitter Phyllanthaceae
Cheat or Chess Poaceae
Chickweed Caryophyllaceae
Clover Fabaceae
Corncockle Caryophyllaceae
Crabgrass Poaceae
Crotalaria Fabaceae
Cudweed Asteraceae
Dandelion Asteraceae
Darnel Poaceae
Dodder Cuscutaceae
Eclipta Asteraceae
Field Madder Rubiaceae
Foxtail Poaceae
Garlic Amaryllidaceae
Geranium Geraniaceae
Goosegrass Poaceae
Henbit Mint
Horsenettle Solanaceae
Johnsongrass Poaceae
Marestail Asteraceae
Mulberry Weed Moraceae
Nutgrass Sedge
Nutsedge Cyperaceae
Pigweed Amaranthaceae
Primrose Onagraceae
Purple nightshade Solanaceae
Sedges Cyperaceae
Shepherd's Purse Mustard
Sorrel Polygonaceae
Speedwell Plantaginaceae
Spurge Euphorbia
Virginia Pepperweed Brassicaceae
Wild onion Amaryllidaceae

Barnyardgrass

Barnyardgrass is an annual grassy weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is commonly found in lawns, gardens, and other areas with moist soil and is one of the most difficult weeds to control. It grows rapidly during the warm season and can quickly steal nutrients from other plants, leading to a weak and unhealthy lawn.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To prevent barnyardgrass from spreading, it is important to identify and control it early in the growing season. This can be done by hand pulling or using herbicides, such as pre-emergent and post-emergent treatments. It is also important to maintain proper fertilization and to avoid compacted soil, as barnyardgrass can thrive in these conditions.

Barnyardgrass

Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass is a perennial weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is a warm-season grass that is commonly found in Arkansas and can quickly spread through rhizomes and stolons. Bermudagrass is known for its tolerance to drought and heat, making it a difficult weed to control.

Type

Perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

There are several methods to control Bermudagrass, including cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods. Cultural methods include maintaining a healthy lawn by proper watering, fertilization, and mowing.

Mechanical methods involve physically removing the weed through hand-pulling or using a sod cutter. Chemical methods include using herbicides such as glyphosate or fluazifop-p-butyl. 

It is important to note that chemical methods should be used with caution and only when necessary, as they can harm desirable plants and have negative environmental impacts.

common bermuda grass

Bittercress

Bittercress is an annual weed that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which is also known as the mustard family. This weed is also known as Cardamine hirsuta and can grow up to 12 inches tall. Bittercress produces small white flowers that bloom from March to May, and it can be found in gardens, lawns, and other disturbed areas.

Type

Annual

Family

Brassicaceae

Control

There are several methods to control bittercress, including hand-pulling, hoeing, and using herbicides. Hand-pulling is only effective for small infestations, and it is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots. 

Hoeing can be effective for larger infestations, but it is important to hoe before the plants have a chance to produce seeds. 

Herbicides can also be used to control bittercress, but it is important to read the label and follow the instructions carefully. Glyphosate-based herbicides are effective, but they can also harm desirable plants, so it is important to use them carefully.

Bittercress

Bluegrass

Bluegrass is a perennial weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is a clumping grass that can grow up to 2 feet tall and has blue-green leaves. Bluegrass is commonly found in lawns and pastures and can quickly take over if not controlled.

Type

Perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

One of the best ways to control bluegrass is to maintain a healthy lawn or pasture. This can be achieved by mowing regularly, fertilizing appropriately, and watering adequately. 

Additionally, hand-pulling or using a weeding tool can be effective for smaller infestations. For larger infestations, herbicides can be used, but it is important to follow label instructions carefully and avoid spraying near desirable plants.

Annual Bluegrass

Buttercup

Buttercup is a common annual weed that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It can grow up to 16 inches tall and has bright yellow flowers that bloom from April to July. This weed is found in pastures, meadows, and roadsides, and is commonly found in Arkansas.

Type

Annual

Family

Ranunculaceae

Control

The best way to control Buttercup is to use herbicides. A selective herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds can be used to control Buttercup, but it should be applied before the weed starts to flower. 

Mowing can also help control Buttercup, but it should be done before the flowers appear. It’s important to note that Buttercup is toxic to livestock, so it’s important to control it in pastures and other areas where livestock graze.

Buttercup weed

Carpetweed

Carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata) is an annual weed that belongs to the family of Aizoaceae. This weed is commonly found in Arkansas and can be identified by its small, white flowers and whorled leaves. Carpetweed can grow up to 12 inches tall and can spread rapidly, forming dense mats that can choke out other vegetation.

Type

Annual

Family

Aizoaceae

Control

Controlling carpetweed can be challenging since it produces a large number of seeds that can remain viable in the soil for years. The best way to control carpetweed is to prevent it from establishing in the first place.

Maintaining a healthy lawn or garden with proper irrigation, fertilization, and mowing can help prevent carpetweed from taking hold. In addition, hand-pulling or hoeing carpetweed before it sets seed can be an effective control method. 

If chemical control is necessary, preemergence herbicides can be applied in the spring to prevent carpetweed seed germination.

Carpetweed

Chamberbitter

Chamberbitter, also known as gripeweed, is an annual weed that belongs to the Phyllanthaceae family. It is a low-growing weed that is commonly found in lawns, gardens, and waste areas. 

Its leaves are light green and oval-shaped with a smooth texture. Chamberbitter produces small, green flowers that turn into small, round fruits that contain seeds.

Type

Annual

Family

Phyllanthaceae

Control

Controlling Chamberbitter can be challenging, as it produces seeds throughout the growing season. Hand-pulling or hoeing can be effective for small infestations, but for larger areas, herbicides such as glyphosate or 2,4-D can be used. 

Pre-emergent herbicides can also be used to prevent Chamberbitter from germinating. It is important to note that herbicides should be used carefully to avoid damaging desirable plants. 

Regular mowing and maintaining healthy turf can also help prevent Chamberbitter from establishing in lawns.

Chamberbitter

Cheat or Chess

Cheat or Chess (Bromus secalinus) is an annual grass weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is also known as chess brome, cheatgrass, and downy brome. Cheatgrass is native to Eurasia and has become naturalized in North America. It is a winter annual that germinates in the fall and grows through the winter, producing seeds in the spring.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

Bromus secalinus is a problematic weed in Arkansas, as it competes with crops for nutrients and water. It is also a fire hazard, as it dries out quickly and can ignite easily. To control cheatgrass, it is important to prevent its spread by controlling seed production and using herbicides. Mowing and grazing can also be effective, but they must be timed correctly to prevent seed production.

Cheat or Chess

Chickweed

Chickweed is an annual weed that belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family. It is a common weed found in Arkansas lawns and gardens. This weed grows in dense patches and has small, white flowers. Chickweed can grow up to 12 inches tall and has a shallow root system.

Type

Annual

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Control

To control chickweed, hand-pulling is the most effective method. It is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent regrowth. Mulching and mowing can also help to control chickweed.

Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied in the fall or early spring to prevent chickweed from germinating. Post-emergent herbicides can be used to control chickweed after it has already grown. It is important to follow the instructions on the herbicide label and use caution when applying to avoid damage to desirable plants.

Chickweed is not harmful to humans or animals, but it can be a nuisance in lawns and gardens. By using proper control methods, chickweed can be effectively managed and prevented from spreading.

Chickweed close up

Clover

Clover is a common annual weed found in Arkansas. It belongs to the Fabaceae family and is known for its small white or pink flowers. Clover can be found in lawns, gardens, and fields and is often considered a nuisance due to its ability to spread quickly.

Type

Annual

Family

Fabaceae

Control

One of the best ways to control clover is through regular mowing and hand pulling. Additionally, applying herbicides specifically designed for clover can be effective in controlling its growth. However, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using excessive amounts of herbicides, as this can harm other plants in the area.

early fall white clover

Corncockle

Corncockle (Agrostemma githago) is an annual weed that belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family. It is native to Europe and was introduced to North America as a contaminant in grain and seed. 

Corncockle has hairy stems that can grow up to 3 feet tall and produce pink or purple flowers. It reproduces by seed and can quickly spread in fields and gardens.

Type

Annual

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Control

To control Corncockle, it is important to prevent its seeds from germinating. This can be achieved by tilling the soil in the fall or early spring before planting. 

Additionally, hand pulling or hoeing can be effective for small infestations. For larger infestations, herbicides such as glyphosate or 2,4-D can be applied. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using herbicides to ensure safe and effective use.

Corncockle

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is commonly found in lawns, gardens, and other cultivated areas. Crabgrass can be easily identified by its wide blades and crab-like appearance. It spreads quickly and can quickly take over an entire lawn if left untreated.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

There are several methods to control crabgrass. One of the most effective is to use a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring before the crabgrass has a chance to germinate. This will prevent the weed from growing and spreading. Another option is to manually remove the weed by hand or with a hoe. However, this method can be time-consuming and may not be practical for larger areas.

crabgrass stems

Crotalaria

Crotalaria is an annual or perennial weed that belongs to the Fabaceae family. It is also known as rattlebox due to the sound of the seeds inside the pods when shaken. The plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and has yellow flowers that bloom from late spring to early fall.

Type

Perennial

Family

Fabaceae

Control

To control Crotalaria, it is important to prevent seed production. Mowing the plant before it flowers or manually removing the pods can prevent the spread of seeds. Herbicides containing glyphosate or 2,4-D can also be effective in controlling the weed. However, caution should be exercised when using herbicides as they can harm other plants and animals in the area.

Crotalaria

Cudweed

Cudweed is an annual weed that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is commonly found in Arkansas, especially in lawns, gardens, and fields. Cudweed has a fibrous root system that makes it difficult to control. It grows up to 6 inches tall and has narrow leaves that are covered with fine hairs. The flowers of cudweed are small and white, and they appear in clusters at the top of the stems.

Type

Annual

Family

Asteraceae

Control

Cudweed can be controlled by using pre-emergent herbicides in the spring or by hand-pulling the weed before it goes to seed. It is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent regrowth. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lawn or garden can help prevent the growth of cudweed. Regular mowing, fertilization, and watering can help keep the weeds at bay.

Purple Cudweed

Dandelion

Dandelion is a common weed found in Arkansas lawns and gardens. It is an annual weed that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It can grow up to 12 inches tall and has a long taproot that can reach deep into the soil. The leaves of the dandelion are deeply lobed and can grow up to 12 inches long. The flowers are bright yellow and can be seen from a distance.

Type

Annual

Family

Asteraceae

Control

Controlling dandelions can be difficult because of their deep taproot. One method of control is to pull the weed out by hand, making sure to remove the entire root. 

Another method is to use a herbicide that is specifically designed to kill dandelions. It is important to follow the instructions on the herbicide carefully to avoid damaging surrounding plants. 

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lawn with proper watering, fertilization, and mowing can help prevent the growth of dandelions.

Dandelions

Darnel

Darnel, also known as “false wheat,” is an annual weed that belongs to the family Poaceae. It is a grass-like weed that grows up to 4 feet tall and has a spike-like inflorescence. 

Darnel is often found in wheat fields, pastures, and disturbed areas. It is a serious weed problem in Arkansas because it competes with crops for water and nutrients, and can reduce crop yields.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To control darnel, it is important to use a combination of cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods. Cultural methods include crop rotation, planting competitive crops, and using weed-free seed. Mechanical methods include hand-pulling and mowing. 

Chemical methods include using herbicides that are specific to grassy weeds like darnel. It is important to follow label instructions when using herbicides to ensure their effectiveness and safety.

Darnel weed

Dodder

Dodder is an annual parasitic weed that belongs to the family Cuscutaceae. It is also known as love vine, devil’s hair, and witch’s hair. Dodder is a leafless, yellowish-orange, twining vine that can grow up to 1-5 meters long. 

It attaches itself to the host plant by penetrating its stem with haustoria, which are specialized organs that absorb nutrients and water from the host plant.

Type

Annual

Family

Cuscutaceae

Control

Dodder can cause significant damage to crops such as alfalfa, beans, and tomatoes. It is also a host for plant viruses, which can be transmitted to other plants. To control dodder, it is recommended to use pre-emergent herbicides before planting the crop.

Post-emergent herbicides can also be used, but they may not be as effective. Removing the weed by hand is also an option, but it is not practical for large infestations. 

It is important to note that dodder seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 5 years, so proper management is essential to prevent future infestations.

Dodder

Eclipta

Eclipta, also known as false daisy, is an annual weed that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is commonly found in Arkansas and other parts of the United States. Eclipta has a deep taproot and can grow up to 2 feet tall. It has small white or yellow flowers that bloom from July to October.

Type

Annual

Family

Asteraceae

Control

Eclipta can be controlled through cultural and chemical methods. Cultural control involves removing the weed by hand or using a hoe. It is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent regrowth. 

Chemical control involves using herbicides such as glyphosate or 2,4-D. It is important to follow the instructions on the herbicide label and apply it when the weed is actively growing.

Eclipta

Field Madder

Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis) is an annual weed that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It is commonly found in fields, gardens, and disturbed areas throughout Arkansas. The plant has a slender stem with small, white or pink flowers that bloom from May to September. The leaves are arranged in whorls of four and are hairy.

Type

Annual

Family

Rubiaceae

Control

Field Madder can be controlled by hand-pulling or hoeing before it sets seed. Mulching can also be effective in preventing the growth of this weed. For larger infestations, herbicides such as glyphosate or 2,4-D can be used.

 However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging desirable plants. Overall, early detection and prevention are key to controlling the spread of Field Madder.

Field Madder

Foxtail

Foxtail is an annual grass weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is also known as Setaria and is commonly found in Arkansas. Foxtail is a summer annual weed that germinates in the spring and grows throughout the summer. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and has a distinctive seed head that resembles a fox’s tail.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

Foxtail can be controlled by maintaining a healthy lawn and garden. Regular mowing and watering can help prevent the growth of this weed. In addition, the use of pre-emergent herbicides can be effective in controlling foxtail.

Post-emergent herbicides can also be used to control established plants. It is important to apply herbicides according to the manufacturer’s instructions and to avoid using them on windy days to prevent drift and damage to non-target plants.

Foxtail

Garlic

Garlic (Allium vineale) is a perennial weed that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. It is a common weed in Arkansas, and it can grow up to 3 feet tall. Garlic has a bulb that produces small bulblets that can be carried by animals, water, or soil. These bulblets can spread the weed quickly, making it difficult to control.

Type

Perennial

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Control

The best way to control garlic is to remove it manually, including the bulb and all the bulblets. This should be done before the weed produces seeds. If garlic has already produced seeds, it is best to mow or cut it down to prevent further spread.

Chemical control can also be used, but it is not always effective. Glyphosate and 2,4-D are common herbicides that can be used to control garlic. However, it is important to follow the label instructions carefully and use protective gear when applying herbicides.

garlic seeds

Geranium

Geranium, also known as spotted cranesbill, is a perennial weed that belongs to the Geraniaceae family. It is a common weed in Arkansas and can be found in gardens, fields, and lawns. Geraniums have a deep taproot and can spread through underground rhizomes. They produce pink or purple flowers that bloom from May to July.

Type

Perennial

Family

Geraniaceae

Control

To control geraniums, it is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots. Hand-pulling is effective for small infestations, but for larger areas, herbicides such as glyphosate or 2,4-D can be used. It is important to follow the label instructions when using herbicides and to avoid spraying on windy days to prevent drift.

Carolina Geranium

Goosegrass

Goosegrass, also known as silver crabgrass, is an annual weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is commonly found in Arkansas lawns, gardens, and fields. Goosegrass can grow up to 2 feet tall and has flat, wide leaves that are light green in color. The weed produces seeds that can survive in the soil for several years, making it difficult to control.

Type

Annual

Family

Poaceae

Control

To prevent the growth of goosegrass, maintaining a healthy lawn is crucial. Regular fertilization and proper watering can help prevent the weed from establishing itself. If goosegrass has already taken over the lawn, hand-pulling or using a hoe can be effective in removing the weed.

Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring can also prevent the growth of goosegrass. However, it is important to note that post-emergent herbicides are not effective in controlling goosegrass.

Goosegrass

Henbit

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is an annual weed that belongs to the mint family. It is a common weed found in Arkansas lawns and gardens. Henbit is a winter annual weed that emerges in the fall and grows throughout the winter. It flowers in the spring and dies off during the summer.

Type

Annual

Family

Mint

Control

Controlling henbit can be challenging, but it is essential to prevent it from spreading. One of the most effective ways to control henbit is by hand-pulling it before it flowers and sets seed. Applying pre-emergent herbicides in the fall can also help prevent henbit from germinating. 

Post-emergent herbicides can be used to control henbit after it has emerged, but they are most effective when applied in the fall or early spring.

Henbit

Horsenettle

Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) is a perennial weed that belongs to the Solanaceae family. It is native to North America and can grow up to 3 feet tall. It has a deep root system and can be found in pastures, fields, and along roadsides. 

Horsenettle has spiny stems and leaves and produces small, white or purple flowers in the summer. Its fruit is a small, yellowish-green berry that contains numerous seeds.

Type

Perennial

Family

Solanaceae

Control

Controlling horsenettle can be challenging due to its deep root system. Hand-pulling is not recommended as it can break the roots and cause it to spread. Instead, herbicides such as glyphosate and dicamba can be used to control horsenettle. 

It is important to apply the herbicide when the plant is actively growing and avoid spraying on windy days to prevent drift. Additionally, planting cover crops such as clover or rye can help suppress horsenettle growth by competing for resources. 

Horsenettle

Johnsongrass

Johnsongrass is a perennial grass weed that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and was introduced to the United States in the early 1800s as a forage crop. Johnsongrass is now considered a noxious weed in many states due to its aggressive nature and ability to outcompete native vegetation.

Type

Perennial

Family

Poaceae

Control

Controlling Johnsongrass can be challenging due to its deep root system and prolific seed production. The most effective control methods include cultural practices such as mowing and hand-pulling, as well as chemical treatments with herbicides such as glyphosate or imazapyr. 

It is important to note that Johnsongrass can develop resistance to herbicides, so it is recommended to rotate between different modes of action to prevent resistance from developing.

Johnsongrass weed

Marestail

Marestail, also known as horseweed, is an annual weed that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a native plant of North America, but it has spread to other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia. Marestail can grow up to 6 feet tall and has a thick stem with small leaves that are alternate and lance-shaped. The flowers are small and white, and they bloom in late summer to early fall.

Type

Annual

Family

Asteraceae

Control

Marestail can be a tough weed to control, as it has developed resistance to many herbicides. However, there are some methods that can be effective in managing this weed. One approach is to use a combination of pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. 

Another method is to use cultural practices, such as crop rotation and tillage, to reduce the weed population. It’s important to note that early detection and prevention are key in controlling marestail, as it can quickly spread and become difficult to manage.

Marestail

Mulberry Weed

Mulberry Weed is an annual broadleaf weed that belongs to the Moraceae family. It is commonly found in Arkansas, especially in lawns, gardens, and agricultural fields. 

Mulberry Weed has a unique leaf structure that resembles a mulberry tree, hence its name. The leaves are alternate, simple, and lobed, with a rough texture and serrated edges. The plant can grow up to 2 feet tall and has a taproot system.

Type

Annual

Family

Moraceae

Control

The best way to control Mulberry Weed is through cultural practices such as proper watering, mowing, and fertilization. Hand-pulling or hoeing the weed can also be effective, especially when the plant is young. 

For larger infestations, herbicides such as 2,4-D and dicamba can be used. It is important to follow label instructions when using herbicides to prevent damage to desirable plants and to avoid environmental contamination.

Mulberry Weed

Nutgrass

Nutgrass, also known as nutsedge, is a perennial weed that belongs to the sedge family. It is commonly found in Arkansas lawns and gardens, and can be identified by its triangular stem and yellow-green leaves. Nutgrass can grow up to 3 feet tall and produces small, brown flowers in the summer.

Type

Perennial

Family

Sedge

Control

Controlling nutgrass can be difficult, as it has an extensive root system that can reach up to 3 feet deep in the soil. One effective method of control is to dig up the entire root system, making sure to remove all of the nutgrass tubers.

This can be a time-consuming process, but it is the most effective way to control nutgrass. Another option is to use an herbicide specifically designed to target nutgrass. These herbicides can be applied to the leaves or directly to the soil, but should be used with caution as they can also harm desirable plants.

Nutgrass

Nutsedge

Nutsedge is a perennial weed that belongs to the Cyperaceae family. It is commonly found in Arkansas and can be identified by its triangular stem and yellow-green leaves. Nutsedge is often mistaken for grass, but it is a weed that can quickly spread and take over lawns and gardens.

Type

Perennial

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

Controlling nutsedge can be challenging, as it has an extensive root system that can regenerate even after being cut. One effective method to control nutsedge is to use herbicides that contain sulfentrazone or halosulfuron. These herbicides should be applied during the growing season when the nutsedge is actively growing.

It is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully to avoid damaging the surrounding plants. Additionally, manually removing nutsedge can help control its spread, but it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.

Yellow Nutsedge

Pigweed

Pigweed is an annual weed that belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. It is also known as Palmer amaranth or careless weed. Pigweed is a highly competitive weed that can grow up to 7 feet tall. It is a major problem in Arkansas and other states in the southern United States. Pigweed is difficult to control because it has a high growth rate and a high seed production rate.

Type

Annual

Family

Amaranthaceae

Control

To control pigweed, it is important to prevent its growth by using pre-emergent herbicides. Once pigweed has emerged, it can be controlled using post-emergent herbicides. However, pigweed can quickly develop resistance to herbicides, so it is important to rotate herbicides and use different modes of action.

Manual removal of pigweed can also be effective, but it is labor-intensive and may not be practical for large infestations. Overall, early detection and prevention are the best methods to control pigweed.

pigweed

Primrose

Primrose (Oenothera spp.) is a biennial or short-lived perennial weed that belongs to the Onagraceae family. It is native to North America and is widespread throughout the United States. Primrose is characterized by its bright yellow flowers that bloom from May to August. The plant has a deep taproot that can make it difficult to control.

Type

Perennial

Family

Onagraceae

Control

To control Primrose, it is best to remove the plant before it goes to seed. Hand-pulling is effective for small infestations, but for larger infestations, herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr can be used. 

It is important to note that herbicides can also harm nearby plants, so care should be taken when using them. Additionally, mowing can help prevent seed production, but it may not be effective in eradicating the plant.

Purple nightshade

Purple nightshade, also known as Solanum elaeagnifolium, is a perennial weed that belongs to the Solanaceae family. It is native to North America and is commonly found in Arkansas. The plant can grow up to 3 feet tall and has purple flowers that bloom from June to September. The leaves are long and narrow, with a waxy texture.

Type

Perennial

Family

Solanaceae

Control

Controlling purple nightshade can be challenging because it has a deep taproot that can grow up to 6 feet deep. The weed can also spread through its seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for up to 5 years. The best way to control purple nightshade is to prevent it from establishing in the first place by removing the plant before it sets seed.

If the weed has already established, it can be controlled through a combination of cultural and chemical methods. Cultural methods include hand-pulling, hoeing, and mowing the plant before it sets seed. Chemical control can be achieved through the use of herbicides, such as glyphosate or dicamba.

Purple nightshade

Sedges

Sedges are a type of perennial weed that belong to the Cyperaceae family. They have triangular stems and leaves that are arranged in a three-rank pattern. Sedges are commonly found in moist areas such as wetlands, but can also grow in drier areas. Some of the most common sedges found in Arkansas include the yellow nut sedge, purple nut sedge, and green kyllinga.

Type

Perennial

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

Controlling sedges can be difficult due to their extensive root systems. Hand pulling and digging can be effective for small infestations, but herbicides are often necessary for larger areas. 

Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied in the spring to prevent seed germination, while post-emergent herbicides can be applied throughout the growing season to kill existing plants.

It is important to note that sedges can be difficult to distinguish from other grass-like plants, so proper identification is crucial for effective control. Additionally, sedges can be an indicator of poor soil drainage, so improving drainage can help prevent future infestations.

Nutsedge

Shepherd’s Purse

Shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is an annual weed that belongs to the mustard family. It is commonly found in Arkansas and is known for its triangular-shaped seed pods that resemble tiny purses. The weed grows quickly and can reach up to 2 feet in height.

Type

Annual

Family

Mustard

Control

Shepherd’s purse can be controlled using several methods, including hand-pulling, hoeing, and mulching. It is best to remove the weed before it sets seed to prevent it from spreading. Additionally, pre-emergent herbicides can be used to prevent the weed from germinating. However, care should be taken when using herbicides as they can harm other plants in the area. Overall, controlling Shepherd’s purse requires a combination of manual and chemical methods to effectively manage the weed.

Shepherd's Purse

Sorrel

Sorrel is a common weed found in Arkansas gardens and lawns. It is an annual weed that belongs to the Polygonaceae family. Sorrel grows quickly and produces numerous seeds, making it difficult to control. The weed has a deep taproot, which makes it hard to remove by hand.

Type

Annual

Family

Polygonaceae

Control

To control sorrel, it is important to remove it as soon as it appears. The weed can be pulled by hand, but it is important to remove the entire root to prevent regrowth. Sorrel can also be controlled by applying herbicides. Glyphosate and 2,4-D are effective herbicides that can be used to control sorrel. It is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully when using herbicides.

Yellow woodsorrel

Speedwell

Speedwell is an annual weed belonging to the Plantaginaceae family. It is commonly found in Arkansas, especially in lawns, gardens, and landscapes. Speedwell can grow up to 12 inches tall and has small, blue or white flowers. It produces seeds that can germinate quickly and cause infestations.

Type

Annual

Family

Plantaginaceae

Control

To control Speedwell, it is important to maintain a healthy lawn by mowing it regularly and watering it deeply and infrequently. Hand-pulling the weed is also effective, but it is time-consuming. Pre-emergent herbicides can be used to prevent Speedwell seeds from germinating. 

Post-emergent herbicides such as 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr can also be used to control Speedwell. It is important to follow the instructions on the herbicide label carefully to avoid damaging desirable plants.

Speedwell

Spurge

Spurge is an annual weed that belongs to the Euphorbia family. It is commonly found in Arkansas lawns, gardens, and landscapes. This weed can grow up to 12 inches tall and has a shallow root system. Spurge has a small, white, milky sap that can cause skin irritation in some people.

Type

Annual

Family

Euphorbia

Control

Controlling spurge can be challenging due to its ability to produce large amounts of seeds. The best way to prevent spurge is to maintain a healthy lawn by mowing regularly and watering deeply but infrequently. If spurge is already present, it can be controlled by hand-pulling or using a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. Post-emergent herbicides can also be used, but they should be applied carefully to avoid damaging desirable plants.

Spurges

Virginia Pepperweed

Virginia Pepperweed is an annual weed belonging to the Brassicaceae family. It is native to North America and can be found in various habitats, including roadsides, fields, and disturbed areas. Virginia Pepperweed can grow up to 3 feet tall and has narrow leaves that are often toothed. The flowers are small, white, and arranged in clusters at the top of the stem.

Type

Annual

Family

Brassicaceae

Control

Controlling Virginia Pepperweed can be challenging. The weed produces a lot of seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for several years. Hand-pulling or hoeing can be effective if done before the plant produces seeds. However, in larger infestations, chemical control may be necessary. 

Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied in the spring to prevent seed germination, while post-emergent herbicides can be used to kill the plant after it has emerged. It is important to read and follow all label instructions when using herbicides to control Virginia Pepperweed.

Virginia Pepperweed

Wild onion

Wild onion (Allium vineale) is a perennial weed that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. It is commonly found in pastures, fields, and lawns throughout Arkansas. Wild onion is a bulb-forming weed that reproduces through seeds and bulbs. The plant has a distinctive onion-like odor, which can be detected when the leaves are crushed.

Type

Perennial

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Control

Controlling wild onion can be challenging because of its underground bulbs, which can resprout even after the plant has been removed. The best way to control wild onion is by digging up the bulbs and removing them from the soil. Mowing can be used to control the plant, but it will not eliminate it entirely. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall can also help prevent the growth of new plants. However, it is important to note that herbicides can also harm desirable plants, so caution should be taken when using them.

Wild Onions
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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