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Winter Annual Weeds—Central Valley

On this page
  • Common groundsel
  • Common sowthistle
  • Fiddlenecks
  • Little mallow (Cheeseweed)
  • Sheperd's-purse

See also, winter annual weeds of other regions: Central Coast and Desert.

Use the photos below to identify weeds in the field. Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Common groundsel
Common groundsel
(Senecio vulgaris): Sunflower family; winter annual; seed leaves narrow, with blunt narrow tip; first true leaves with shallow teeth; third and fourth leaves more deeply lobed.

Annual sowthistle seedling.
Common sowthistle
(Sonchus oleraceus): Sunflower family; summer annual; seed leaves markedly stalked, almost spoon-shaped, rounded at tip and often have grayish powdery bloom.
Seedling of coast fiddleneck.
(Amsinckia spp.): Borage family; winter annual; Y-shaped seed leaves with tiny blisters and a few fine hairs; early leaves with coarse, sharp hairs, and 4 to 6 times longer than wide.
Little mallow
Little mallow (Cheeseweed)
(Malva parviflora): Mallow family; winter annual; seed leaves heart shaped, sometimes with red tinge; true leaves roundish with wavy, shallow-toothed margins.
Sheperd's purse
(Capsella bursa-pastoris): Mustard family; winter annual; seed leaves pale green with tiny granules on surface; first true leaves with smooth margins; fourth and later leaves may be indented; true leaves covered with star-shaped hairs.


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