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Winter Annual Weed Seedlings

On this page
  • Purple cudweed
  • Common groundsel
  • Milkthistle
  • Prickly lettuce
  • London rocket
  • Mustards
  • Little mallow (cheeseweed)
  • Burning nettle
  • Common chickweed
  • Redstem filaree
  • Hare barley
  • Annual bluegrass
  • Italian ryegrass
  • Wild oat

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

Click on photos to enlarge
Seedling of purple cudweed, Gnaphalium purpureum, at the four-leaf stage.
Purple cudweed
(Gnaphalium purpureum): Sunflower family; winter annual, summer annual, or biennial; seed leaves and first true leaves covered on both sides with whitish hairs; seed leaves 2 to 3 times longer than wide.
Seedling of common groundsel, Senecio vulgaris.
Common groundsel
(Senecio vulgaris): Sunflower family; winter annual, but seedlings can be present anytime at cool, moist locations; seed leaves narrow, with blunt narrow tip; first true leaves with shallow teeth; third and fourth leaves more deeply lobed.
Milkthistle seedling
Milkthistle (Silybum marianum): Sunflower family; winter or summer annual or biennial; seed leaves broadly oval, thick, smooth; first true leaves alternate, oblong, margins with prickly teeth, upper surfaces with white markings.
Seedling of 				prickly lettuce, Lactuca serriola.
Prickly lettuce
(Lactuca serriola): Sunflower family; winter annual or biennial; seed leaves about 2 times longer than wide; first true leaves with rounded margins; injured tissue bleeds milky white latex.
Seedling of London rocket, Sisymbrium irio, at the four-leaf stage.
London rocket
(Sisymbrium irio): Mustard family; winter annual; seedlings narrow with long stalks; first true leaf oval, margins smooth or with a few weak teeth; subsequent few leaves similar but with shallow-toothed margins; young plants have deeply lobed leaves.
Mustard 				seedling.
(Brassica spp.): Mustard family; winter annual; all mustard seedlings with broad seed leaves and deep notch at tip; first true leaves bright green on the upper surface and paler below.
Little mallow, Malva parviflora, seedling.
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.
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.
Chickweed seedling.
Common chickweed
(Stellaria media): Pink family; winter annual; seed leaves with prominent midveins, about 4 times longer than wide, tapering to point at tip; true leaves broader, opposite, and yellow-green.
Seedling of redstem filaree, Erodium cicutarium, at the two-leaf stage.
Redstem filaree
(Erodium cicutarium): Geranium family; winter annual; seed leaves deeply 3- to 4-lobed, center lobe largest; first true leaf deeply lobed and covered with white hairs; young leaves alternate or opposite and also deeply lobed.
Seedling of Hare barley
Hare barley
(Hordeum murinum ssp. leporinum): Grass family; winter annual; papery ligule with long and narrow clasping auricles; hairy foliage.
Annual bluegrass seedling.
Annual bluegrass
(Poa annua): Grass family; winter annual; leaf tip shaped like bow of a boat; membranous ligule rounded with slightly pointed tip; leaf blade crinkled at midsection.
Shiny, 				varnished appearance of ryegrass seedlings.
Italian ryegrass
(Lolium multiflorum): Grass family; winter annual; 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.
Wild oats seedling.
Wild oat
(Avena fatua): Grass family; winter annual; first leaves with small marginal hairs and counterclockwise twist when viewed from above; ligule large, papery, and pointed.

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