Oklahoma Weeds – 15 Most Common

Weeds are sometimes hard to identify and often blend in with any lawn or garden. In this article, I’ve made a list of the 15 most common weeds in Oklahoma along with information about their appearance, important features, and control measures.

loves thin poor turf

Table of Contents

Oklahoma Weeds

Name of Weed Family
Crabgrass Poaceae
Goosegrass Poaceae
Dandelions Asteraceae
Clover Apiaceae
Chickweed Caryophyllaceae
Dallisgrass Poaceae
Carpetweed Molluginaceae
Wood sorrel Oxalidaceae
Purslane Portulacaceae
Annual Bluegrass Poaceae
Plantain Plantaginaceae
Henbit Lamiaceae
Evening Primrose​ Onagraceae
Curly Dock Polygonaceae
Creeping Jenny Primulaceae

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is a grass-like weed that forms a dense mat on the surface of the ground. Its stems branch out, forming a star-shaped hub. You can recognise the weed by its flat, light green leaves and long finger-like florets. Crabgrass grows well in dry, hot conditions, so, it is active in summer.

Type

Annual grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Crabgrass can quickly take over any bare area on your lawn. One of the effective ways to prevent the weed from establishing itself is by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. Mowing the lawn regularly is also crucial to keep crabgrass in check.

likes rich fertile soil

Goosegrass

Goosegrass is also called wiregrass. It forms a compressed, white-silver, or light green clump with thick, flat stems. It has well-pointed seed heads. The flattened leaves develop into 2 to 13 finger spikes. A single weed tends to produce almost 50,000 seeds.

The weed species has a well-developed root system. So, it’s not easy to hand-pull it out of the soil. You can find grassweed in areas with compacted soil and no vegetation.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

Prevention is the best choice to keep goosegrass away from your lawn or garden. You should maintain a healthy lawn so that the weed doesn’t take hold and proliferate. Experts recommend core aeration be done every year, as goosegrass likes compacted soils. You can consider a post-emergent herbicide application for controlling the established weed.

reproduces by seed

Dandelions

While dandelions are normally viewed as harmless yellow flowers by many, if left uncontrolled, they can easily become a nasty problem. It is not easy to get rid of these plants because each seed head seems to produce thousands of seeds, which float across lawns and landscapes in the breeze. Once the plant takes hold, its roots burrow several inches deep into the soil. If you don’t remove the entire root, you can’t stop the weed from growing back.

Type

Perennial

Family

Asteraceae

Control

If you want to remove only one or two plants, you can hand-weed them, but be sure that you pull out the entire plant with the root. It is important to regularly maintain your lawn or garden to control dandelion outbreaks. Despite the preventive measures, if the weed species has invaded your entire lawn, you need an effective lawn weedkiller recommended by a professional.

seed tolerates drought

Clover

Clover can be easily identified by its small white flowers and creeping stems. Its small, round leaves smell like cloves when crushed. A few people find clover attractive and don’t attempt to control it. Besides, it helps with nitrogen fixation in the soil, which is often considered a benefit. But, during times of drought, the weed species become dormant, eventually leaving ugly brown patches on your lawn. Moreover, it’s difficult to control the clover invasion, because it germinates rapidly.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Apiaceae

Control

Maintaining a healthy lawn prevents the weed from taking root and spreading. A pre-emergent herbicide application in the autumn is often recommended to control clover invasion. To get rid of established weeds, use post-emergent herbicides. A mulching mower can also be used to grind down the weed, eventually reducing its rapid spread.

indigenous weed species

Chickweed

Chickweed is a herbaceous, annual broadleaf plant that thrives in the winter. It’s a low-growing weed, growing up to a maximum height of just 30 cm. The weed forms mats of foliage on the soil surface. The leaves are simple and frosty and the flowers are bright white in colour with five petals.

The plant grows well in cool, moist conditions, and doesn’t tolerate hot, dry conditions. It quickly occupies the bare land in gardens, including borders, beds, lawns, and uncultivated ground.

Type

Annual broadleaf

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Control

Hand-weeding is time-consuming, but it’s a simple method to remove chickweed from your garden or lawn. In the case of this weed, prevention is a better and easier option than control. So, the moment you spot chickweed, pull it out right away. Certified herbicides and selective lawn weedkillers are also recommended by experts to control chickweed invasions.

extensive underground root system

Dallisgrass

The weed grows in thick, circular clumps with sprawling stems. It resembles bluegrass, but its seed pods are green in colour, larger, higher, and thicker, making them droop. The plant doesn’t creep, but its clumped mats get bigger over time.

Dallisgrass thrives in warmer times of the year. The weed spreads quickly through its seeds and rhizomes.

Type

Perennial Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

The ideal way to prevent this wood species from taking hold in your lawn is by employing an integrated lawn care method. To prevent dallisgrass from establishing, you should rake and dethatch your lawn, aerate it annually, water deeply, and mow it high regularly. This pesky grass can be dealt with effectively with pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides as well. However, two spot applications are needed.

dallis grass

Carpetweed

Carpetweed is a low-growing weed that forms a mat on the soil surface. The weed has smooth, round stems and whorled green leaves. The tiny, white flowers can be seen in clusters in the leaf axils.

The weed species can often be found popping up in scrambles over the ground or in pavement cracks, forming mats or “carpets.” It prefers sandy soils and grows well in places with high humidity and good sunlight.

Type

Annual

Family

Molluginaceae

Control

When the infestation is small, you can remove the weed by hoeing or hand-pulling. Herbicides can be used to control larger carpetweed infestations. It’s recommended that the weeds be removed before the flowering stage.

large reddish purple flower

Wood sorrel

Wood sorrel is often mistaken for clover. It can be recognised by its distinctive trefoil leaves. The three, heart-shaped lobes fold back into a tent at night, and they flatten out during the day. Its flowers are bright yellow in colour with tiny purple veins. They also tend to close as the light fades and reopen when the sun shows up.

The weed species grows in Oklahoma lawns, gardens, greenhouses, meadows, woodlands, and disturbed areas. It thrives in damp, moist rich fertile soil. 

Type

Annual or Perennial

Family

Oxalidaceae

Control

Wood sorrel can be removed by hand-pulling. However, it is recommended that you pull it before the flowering period to prevent its seeds from spreading. Experts recommend a post-emergent herbicide application to control weeds that have taken root.

Yellow Wood Sorrel

Purslane

Purslane looks like a succulent. It spreads like a mat on the ground. It can be identified by its thick, waxy, reddish-purple stems and shiny, paddle-shaped, green leaves. The star-shaped, bright yellow flowers open only for a few hours in the morning sun.

The weed species survive in extreme heat and dry climates. It quickly covers the ground and overcrowds the native plants in the region.

Type

Annual

Family

Portulacaceae

Control

It is possible to get rid of purslane by hand-pulling or using chemical control methods, but professionals often don’t recommend hand-pulling. It’s because even if you leave behind a small portion of the plant, be it the root or stem, it can develop into a new plant. Experts suggest soil solarization as an effective method for purslane control. However, it should be done before planting the desired plants.

Purslane

Annual Bluegrass

Annual bluegrass is a common winter weed grass with bright green leaves. It spreads quickly through lawns and gardens. The weed is characterised by thin leaves with pointed tips and yellowish-green or light-green flowers. The weed species prefers moist soil and survives in sunlight as well as shade.

Type

Annual Grass

Family

Poaceae

Control

As annual bluegrass thrives in moist soil, the best way to control its growth and spread is to avoid overwatering the garden or lawn. Pre-emergent herbicide treatment is a great way to prevent the seeds from germinating. Applying herbicides in the autumn season also proves to be an effective control measure against bluegrass invasion.

Annual Bluegrass

Plantain

Plantain is a low-growing, broadleaf weed. Its oval-shaped leaves grow circularly. Greenish flowers can be seen spiking up from a central rosette. The buds and blooms look alike and run along lengthy stalks.

The weed species prefers heavily trafficked areas. Well, it’s a tough weed that can survive almost any condition.

Type

Perennial Broadleaf

Family

Plantaginaceae

Control

Pulling up the weed can be an effective way to fight it. However, the plant should be pulled out from the root, making sure that no root is left behind in the soil. It’s because, if any part of the root is left, the weed can regrow. Aerating the lawn and keeping it lush without any bare spots is recommended to keep the plantain weed under control.

Plantain

Henbit

The weed species is a low-growing, herbaceous weed that spreads rapidly to overtake a lawn. Its stems are square and green to purple in colour with tiny, tubular, reddish-purple flowers. The weed has a fibrous root system. Henbit can spread quickly on your lawn, particularly if the thin poor turf is weak. 

Type

Annual Broadleaf

Family

Lamiaceae

Control

The best way to control henbit growth and spread is to maintain a thick turfgrass in the lawn by proper watering and fertilization. You can easily pull it out because of its shallow roots. But, as it can overtake the lawn quickly, using a broadleaf weedkiller is often recommended to eradicate larger colonies.

Henbit

Evening primrose

Evening primrose either grows tall or creeps along the ground. Large, showy, four-petaled blooms in yellow, white, or pink are the key characteristic features of this weed. The flowers remain closed in the morning and bloom in the evening. The stems are generally red. The leaves are narrow with untoothed margins.

The freely branched annual weed species thrive in dry soils, open places, and meadows. Occasionally, it grows in turfgrass and lawns.

Type

Annual or biennial

Family

Onagraceae

Control

The best defence against evening primrose is proper and regular mowing, watering, and fertilization. Experts recommend using a selective broadleaf weed killer such as 2,4-D or dicamba combined with glyphosate in early spring to control evening primrose. 

Evening Primrose

Curly dock

Curly dock, a broadleaf weed, grows up to 5 feet tall. It produces a rosette of long leaves with wavy margins. The thick, unbranched stem bolts usually have a reddish tint. The stem gives rise to long clusters of flowers. The weed produces dense panicles. Its weed seeds have small wing-like structures, and they turn dark brown as they mature. Its taproots penetrate deep into the soil. Curly dock thrives in the spring season.

Type

Perennial

Family

Polygonaceae

Control

As Curly dock can withstand variations in soil moisture, it’s not easy to eradicate it. It is possible to weaken the weed by regularly cutting it down while mowing. Digging up the taproot is also an option to control the weed. Experts recommend broadleaf herbicide applications to get rid of this pesky weed.

Curly dock

Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny, also known as moneywort, is a hardy cool season perennial with a widespread root system. Its flowers are trumpet-shaped and bright yellow in colour. Borne in pairs, the oval to heart-shaped leaves are present all along the stems. The weed produces vines that either climb and curl along nearby structures or creep along the ground. It is mostly found in wet grasslands, wet woods, and along ponds and riverbanks.

Type

Perennial

Family

Primulaceae

Control

While you can reduce the spread of creeping Jenny by manually removing it from your garden, unfortunately, you may not be able to get rid of this weed completely by manual control, because its roots extend several feet under the ground, and the seeds can live for many years. However, it is possible to hinder the spread of this weed by cutting off its top and hoeing the area combined with herbicide application. 

Creeping Jenny
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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