Mississippi weeds – 20 most common

Mississippi is known for its diverse flora, but it is also home to numerous invasive weed species that can cause significant harm to the state’s natural habitats and agricultural production. These weeds are non-native, and they grow aggressively, out-competing native species and changing the landscape’s ecological balance. From kudzu to Johnson grass, these plants can cause damage to crops, reduce soil quality, and increase the risk of erosion.

Mississippi weeds snippet

Table of Contents

Maryland weeds

Name of weed Family
Nutsedge Cyperaceae
Fireweed Chenopodiaceae
Kyllinga Cyperaceae
Virginia Buttonweed Commelinaceae
Doveweed Commelinaceae
Dallisgrass Poaceae
Goosegrass Poaceae
Crabgrass Poaceae
Foxtail Poaceae
Bahiagrass Poaceae
Jio Poaceae
Chinese Tallow Euphorbiaceae
Kariba Weed Amaranthaceae
Waterthyme Hydrocharitaceae
Cogongrass Poaceae
Brazilian Satintail Poaceae
Kudzu Fabaceae
Tropical Soda Apple Solanaceae
Itchgrass Poaceae
Torpedograss Poaceae

Nutsedge

Nutsedge, also known as Nutgrass, is a persistent perennial weed that features striking bright green leaves with sharp edges and grows in clumps. The plant produces small yellow flowers that arise from spikes or “nuts” situated at the top of the weed. Nutsedge thrives in damp soil conditions and quickly spreads, particularly through lawns. Initially, Nutsedge might not be noticed since its seeds resemble out-of-season Bermuda grass and thatch.

Type

Perennial Grass

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

Keeping up with regular maintenance is crucial when dealing with Nutsedge. A well-maintained lawn with a proper watering and mowing schedule can promote good health and inhibit weed growth. In addition, post-emergent herbicides can be effective in eliminating established weeds, such as Nutsedge, but it is essential to apply the herbicide during the early stages of growth. Applying another application as required can also be helpful.

Nutsedge

Fireweed

Fireweed is a tall, upright weed that grows in many different habitats. It features broad leaves with toothed edges and produces small yellow-green flowers. Fireweed can be found growing in fields, pastures, lawns and gardens throughout Mississippi. This perennial weed thrives in cool and wet climates and reproduces through seeds that are spread by wind or water.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf Weed

Family

Chenopodiaceae

Control

The best way to control Fireweed is to remove it manually since it does not respond well to herbicides. If the infestation is extensive, spot treatments of glyphosate may be necessary for thorough control. It is important to remember that when applying herbicides, extreme care must be taken to avoid injury to desirable plants. Furthermore, it is essential to properly identify the weed before attempting any kind of control measures.

Fireweed

Kyllinga

Kyllinga is a perennial weed that grows in turfgrass and can often be mistaken for Nutsedge. This weed is low-growing, dark green or reddish in color, and features small-scale-like leaves. Kyllinga also produces small white flowers that emerge from spikes at the top of the plant. It reproduces through rhizomes, which are underground stems that spread rapidly and help to establish dense infestations.

Type

Perennial Grass

Family

Cyperaceae

Control

Manual removal of Kyllinga is difficult since it has a strong root system and rhizomes. A combination of pre-emergent herbicides, mowing, heavy cultivation, and spot treatments with post-emergent herbicides can be effective in controlling the weed. It is important to properly identify the weed before attempting any control methods, as some herbicides that are suitable for Nutsedge can cause severe damage to Kyllinga. In addition, spot treatments must be applied carefully to avoid injury to desirable plants.

Kyllinga

Virginia Buttonweed

Virginia Buttonweed is a low-growing broadleaf weed that features bright green leaves, yellow flowers, and seeds on long stalks. This weed commonly grows in lawns, gardens, pastures, and fields throughout Mississippi and thrives in moist soils. Virginia Buttonweed reproduces through both seed production and underground rhizomes which spread quickly, making it difficult to control.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf Weed

Family

Commelinaceae

Control

The best way to control Virginia Buttonweed is with pre-emergent herbicides which are applied before the weeds germinate. If the infestation has already established itself, spot treatments with post-emergent herbicides can be used. It is important not to confuse Virginia Buttonweed with other similar weeds, as some herbicides can be damaging when applied to the wrong weed. Furthermore, it is important to apply herbicides carefully in order to avoid injury to desirable plants.

Virginia Buttonweed

Doveweed

Doveweed can appear to be grass initially, but as it matures, short stalks with small purple flowers in clusters become visible. This invasive summer annual turfgrass weed has thick, fleshy leaves that attach to a round stem, which laterally spreads across the soil surface. The leaf sheath of this weed species has small hairs. Doveweed thrives in overly moist soil conditions, which can be caused by poor soil drainage, frequent rainfall, or irrigation. Homeowners often fail to identify this grass-like weed until large patches of turfgrass are choked out.

Type

Annual

Family

Commelinaceae

Control

The best way to prevent the spread of Doveweed is by practicing proper turf care, particularly during the spring and early summer seasons since this weed thrives in late summer. Additionally, post-emergent herbicides can be used to control its growth. Nevertheless, it’s important to be cautious when using herbicides and ensure they are appropriate for the turf type.

doveweed bloom

Dallisgrass

This weed forms dense, circular clusters with sprawling stems and bears a resemblance to bluegrass. However, it can be identified by its green-colored seed pods, which are bigger, thicker, and higher than bluegrass and tend to droop. While this weed doesn’t have a creeping habit, its clumped mats expand over time. It thrives in warmer seasons of the year and can propagate rapidly through its seeds and rhizomes.

Type

Perennial Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Employing an integrated lawn care approach is the key to preventing dallisgrass from taking over your lawn. To prevent its establishment, it is essential to regularly rake and dethatch your lawn, aerate it every year, water it deeply, and maintain a high mowing height. Combating this persistent weed is achievable through pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides. However, it requires two spot applications for effective weed control.

grass clippings dallis grass

Goosegrass

Goosegrass is a type of summer annual grass that forms a rosette-like mat on the ground. Its dark green leaf blades are stout and end in well-defined seed heads. The plant produces finger-like seed spikes that hold almost 50,000 seeds! This particular weed has a robust root system, making it hard to eradicate by digging out of the ground. Goosegrass strives in compacted soil with minimal vegetation.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Preventing goosegrass invasion can be achieved by maintaining a healthy lawn. Core aeration is highly recommended every year since this weed is known to thrive in compacted soil. In case of established goosegrass, post-emergent herbicides can be useful for effective weed control.

Goosegrass weed

Crabgrass

Crabgrass has a unique growth pattern where it spreads horizontally, resembling a crab’s legs. This weed features flat and green leaves that point outward, and finger-like florets. Its stems are spreading and branched, and the roots develop at the nodes along prostrate stems. This weed species prospers in dry and hot conditions and can often be found in disturbed areas like weedy meadows, prairies, lawns and gardens, fields, vacant lots, grassy paths, and along roads and railroads.

Type

Annual grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

To control the growth and spread of crabgrass, regular mowing of the lawn is suggested. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide is the most effective way of preventing this weed from taking hold in a lawn or garden. The herbicide should be applied in the spring during the active growth of crabgrass.

prefer warm soil

Foxtail

Foxtail looks similar to grass, but it can be differentiated by its broad and bright green leaf blades and long flower spikes that range from 3 to 10 inches in length. This weed not only causes discomfort but also poses a threat since its rapid growth and high seed production enable it to invade gardens and lawns that are not adequately maintained.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Preventing foxtail infestations can be achieved by keeping a thick, healthy lawn. Another way to prevent foxtail from taking root is by applying a pre-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent herbicides are available, but they may harm other native plants in your lawn or garden. Seeking the help of professionals can ensure the successful application of post-emergent herbicides without damaging other plants.

Foxtail

Bahiagrass

Bahiagrass is a type of perennial grass with thin and bright green leaves and wide blades. Its broad structures form clumps of dense, coarse foliage that can quickly spread in lawns and gardens. Bahiagrass has an aggressive growth habit and is known to be quite resilient to mowing, drought, high temperatures, shade, and saltwater.

Type

Perennial Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Established bahiagrass can be difficult to control due to its stolons (horizontal stems) which enable it to spread rapidly. To prevent its establishment in your garden or lawn, select native plants that are less prone to weed invasion and practice proper cultural practices like mowing the area regularly. If bahiagrass has already taken root in your lawn or garden, post-emergent herbicides can be used to effectively eradicate it. However, it is important to note that these chemicals may have a negative impact on the surrounding vegetation.

Bahiagrass

Jio

Jio grass is a type of perennial grass with thin, bright green leaves and wide blades. It has short rhizomes that can spread rapidly in lawns and gardens, forming large patches of dense foliage. Jio grass thrives best in wet soil conditions and is known to be quite resilient to mowing, drought, high temperatures, shade, and saltwater.

Type

Perennial Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Preventing jio grass infestations can be achieved by maintaining a thick healthy lawn through proper cultural practices such as mowing regularly and applying fertilizer when necessary.

Commelina benghalensis

Chinese Tallow

Chinese Tallow is a type of weed that features glossy and oval-shaped leaves with serrated edges. These weeds can be found in open fields, roadsides, and other disturbed areas, where they spread rapidly due to their prolific seed production. Chinese tallow often invades lawns, making it hard to control due to its wide range of propagules (seeds, roots, cuttings).

Type

Annual Weed

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Control

To prevent Chinese Tallow from taking root in your garden or lawn, select native plants that are less prone to weed invasion and practice proper cultural practices like mowing the area regularly. If Chinese Tallow has already taken hold in your area, post-emergent herbicides can be used to eradicate it.

Chinese Tallow

Kariba Weed

Kariba weed is a type of perennial weed that features dense foliage and oval-shaped leaves with serrated edges. It is known to spread rapidly due to its rhizomes, which can quickly form large patches in lawns and gardens. Kariba weed thrives best in wet soil conditions and is known to be quite resilient to mowing, drought, high temperatures, shade, and saltwater.

Type

Perennial Weed

Family

Amaranthaceae

Control

Preventing Kariba infestations can be achieved by maintaining a thick healthy lawn through proper cultural practices such as mowing regularly and applying fertilizer when necessary. To eliminate existing weeds, post-emergent herbicides should be applied during the active growth period of Kariba. These chemicals may have a negative impact on the surrounding vegetation, so it is important to seek the help of professionals for successful application.

Kariba Weed

Waterthyme

Hydrilla, also known as waterthyme, is a perennial aquatic plant that originally hails from the warm areas of Asia. It is believed that the plant was introduced into the United States through the tropical fish trade.

Type

Perennial Weed

Family

Hydrocharitaceae

Control

Waterthyme can be controlled through a combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical means. Hand pulling, raking, and cutting can help control small infestations, while biological control using natural predators such as Hydrellia pakistanae is effective for managing larger areas. Herbicides such as fluridone and diquat may also be used but should be applied carefully following label instructions and professional recommendations.

Waterthyme

Cogongrass

Cogongrass is registered as the seventh most harmful weed globally. It possesses hardy characteristics, allowing it to grow in shaded areas, high-saline soil, and drought-stricken regions. Once it forms dense mats, it outgrows native vegetation and forage plants, impeding vital ground-nesting species. The bobwhite quail, turkeys, and gopher tortoise are some such ground-dwelling creatures displaced by cogongrass colonies.

Type

Perennial Weed

Family

Poaceae

Control

The only permanent way to eradicate cogongrass is a combination of digging up and bagging the grass, along with herbicide treatments. Digging should be done during the growing season and should be repeated several times to ensure that all of the rhizomes have been removed. Herbicide options that can provide effective control include glyphosate, triclopyr, and metsulfuron-methyl. Always follow label instructions for herbicides and contact your local weed control experts for advice on controlling cogongrass infestations.

Cogongrass

Brazilian Satintail

Brazilian Satintail is an aggressive annual weed, native to the tropical regions of South America. It is capable of producing up to 15,000 seeds per plant, which readily disperse and result in prolific growth. This invasive species often invade lawns, fields, and other disturbed areas due to its vigorous seed production and shallow fibrous roots.

Type

Annual Weed

Family

Poaceae

Control

To prevent Brazilian Satintail from taking root in your garden or lawn, select native plants that are less prone to weed invasion and practice proper cultural practices like mowing the area regularly.

Imperata brasiliensis

Kudzu

Kudzu, which is native to Japan and Asia, was first displayed as an ornamental plant at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. In Mississippi, it was planted to control soil erosion and as a forage crop during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Type

Perennial Weed

Family

Fabaceae

Control

Mechanical control methods like hand pulling, digging, and cutting can be effective, but it needs to be carried out regularly as Kudzu can resprout from the vast root system. Chemical control using herbicides like glyphosate is another way to control Kudzu, but it can harm non-target vegetation.

Kudzu weed

Tropical Soda Apple

Tropical soda apple, also known as TSA, is an invasive weed that originated from South America. It belongs to the family Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. The weed is called “soda apple” because of its round fruit that resembles a small green tomato, while the term “tropical” is used to indicate its warm climate origin.

Type

perennial shrub

Family

Solanaceae

Control

There are multiple control methods available, including mechanical control (hand removal), cultural control (proper fertilization, mowing, and grazing management), biological control (introduction of natural predators), and herbicide control (using specific herbicides to control TSA).

Tropical Soda Apple

Itchgrass

Itchgrass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis), also known as “tropical signalgrass,” is an invasive weed that originated in Southeast Asia and has since spread to many countries around the world. Itchgrass is a highly destructive weed that can cause significant damage to both natural and agricultural areas. Its long, narrow leaves have sharp edges that can cause severe itching and irritation, hence its name. The plant can grow up to six feet tall and produces large quantities of seeds, making it highly invasive and difficult to control.

Type

Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Controlling itchgrass is critical to mitigate its harmful effects on natural and agricultural areas. Mechanical methods such as mowing, hand-pulling, or using tillage equipment can be effective in removing the plant. However, these methods should be repeated regularly as itchgrass produces a massive number of seeds, making the plant highly invasive.

Itchgrass

Torpedograss

Torpedograss, also known as Panicum Repens, is a robust, invasive species of grass that is native to Asia, Africa, and Australia but is now widespread in the United States. This aquatic or semi-aquatic grass has long, narrow leaves and can grow up to four feet tall. It typically grows in wetlands, canals, ponds, and marshes, but can also grow in drier areas like roadsides and pastures.

Type

Perennial grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Controlling torpedograss is crucial to protecting natural habitats and agricultural production. Torpedograss can be controlled by a combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological methods. Mechanical methods include hand-pulling, digging, and removing the grass along with its underground rhizomes. Chemical control using systemic herbicides like glyphosate can also be effective, but it requires careful application to avoid harming non-target plants. Fungal pathogens can provide effective biological control by infecting and killing torpedograss; however, it requires specialized expertise and safety measures.

Torpedograss weed
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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