Winter annual weeds

  • Burning nettle
  • Filarees
  • Hare barley
  • Little mallow
  • Mustards
  • Perennial fringed willowherb
  • Ryegrass
  • Shepherd's-purse
Click on photos to enlarge. Names link to more on identification and biology.
Burning nettle seedling.

Burning nettle

(Urtica urens): Nettle family; winter or summer annual; rounded seed leaves with smooth margin and small notch at tip; first true leaves with small notch at tip, opposite, stalked, and distinctly toothed.

Seedling of redstem filaree, Erodium cicutarium, at the two-leaf stage.

Filaree spp.

(Erodium spp.): Geranium family; seed leaves deeply 3- to 4-lobed, center lobe largest.

Several Hordeum species have long claw like auricles.

Hare barley

(Hordeum murinum ssp. leporinum): Grass family; papery ligule with long and narrow clasping auricles; hairy foliage.

Little mallow, Malva parviflora, seedling.

Little mallow (Cheeseweed)

(Malva parviflora): Mallow family; seed leaves heart-shaped, sometimes with red tinge; true leaves roundish with wavy, shallow-toothed margins.

Mustard seedling.


(Brassica spp.): Mustard family; all mustard seedlings with broad seed leaves and deep notch at tip; first true leaves bright green on the upper surface and paler below.

Photo not available

Perennial fringed willowherb (Panicle willowherb)

(Epilobium ciliatum) Evening Primrose Family; seed leaves egg-shaped with a rounded to slightly squared tip and hairless; first true leaves oval.

Shiny, varnished appearance of ryegrass seedlings.

Ryegrass spp.

(Lolium multiflorum): Grass family; first blade erect, long, and narrow; leaves rolled in bud, blades with shiny, varnished appearance; ligule membranous; usually auricles present, but sometimes absent on very young seedlings.

Shepherd's-purse seedling.


(Capsella bursa-pastoris): Mustard family; 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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