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Identifying Perennial Weed Seedlings

On this page
  • Bermudagrass
  • Curly dock
  • Dandelion
  • Dallisgrass
  • Field bindweed
  • Johnsongrass
  • White clovers (not shown)
  • Yellow nutsedge

Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Seedling of bermudagrass
(Cynodon dactylon): Grass family; perennial; first leaves with somewhat rough surface; ligule surrounded by ring of hairs with tuft of long hairs on either side; auricles absent; stem flat, wiry, and without hairs.

Curly dock seedling, Rumex crispus.
Curly dock
(Rumex crispus): Buckwheat family; perennial; seed leaves succulent and 3 times longer than wide; young seedlings vary in color, from entirely green to red tinged in cooler months; petioles of young seedlings ribbed with bases extending onto stem.

Dandelion seedling, Taraxacum officinale.
(Taraxacum officinale): Aster family; perennial; seed leaves green-yellow, smooth, and range from circular to oval to spatulate; young leaves without hairs and usually gray-green on lower surface, alternate, form basal rosette, and spatulate or oval with long petiole; margins of third true leaf wavy with irregular, widely spaced teeth.

Dallisgrass leaf sheath of the seedling.
(Paspalum dilatatum): Grass family; perennial; first leaves rolled in bud; ligule membranous and tall, with bluntly pointed or rounded tip; long, silky hairs at collar; no auricles; sheaths flattened with prominent midrib; first leaf sheaths softly hairy.

Seedling of field bindweed
Field bindweed
(Convolvulus arvensis): Morningglory family; perennial; seed leaves nearly square, with shallow notch at tip; early true leaves spade shaped; petioles flattened.

Johnsongrass seedlings.
(Sorghum halepense): Grass family; perennial; first leaves with white midvein, 8 times longer than wide and rolled in bud; ligule membranous below and fringed or toothed above; no auricles.

Seedling of white clover
White clovers
(Trifolium spp.): Pea family; perennial; seed leaves spatulate, smooth; blades taper into petiole; first leaf simple, truncated at base, round to broadly oval; later leaves with 3 leaflets per leaf, smooth, alternate, lower surface gray-green, upper surface green; usually light-green splotch near base of each leaflet.

Young yellow nutsedge plant.
Yellow nutsedge
(Cyperus esculentus): Sedge family; perennial; grasslike; light-green blades, flat, slender; leaf tip long and drawn out; nutlets globe shaped, smooth, and almond flavored.

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