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Identifying Winter Annual Weeds

On this page:
  • Annual bluegrass
  • California burclover
  • Common chickweed
  • Hare barley
  • Little mallow (Cheeseweed)
  • Mustards
  • Redmaids
  • Redstem filaree
  • Wild oats
  • Wild radish

Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

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.

Seedling of California burclover
California burclover
(Medicago polymorpha) Pea family; summer annual; seed leaves oblong; first true leaf rounded with single leaflet; later leaves with characteristic clover-like shape.

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 Hare barley
Hare barley
(Hordeum murinum ssp. leporinum): Grass family; winter annual; papery ligule with long and narrow clasping auricles; hairy foliage.
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.
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.
Redmaids (desert				rockpurslane) young plant.
(Calandrinia cilata): Purslane family; winter annuals; seed leaves long, narrow, and bright green; first true leaves somewhat broader, fleshy, and lacking definite stalks, distinguishing them from seedlings of miner's lettuce.
Seedling of redstem filaree, Erodium cicutarium, at the two-leaf stage.
Redstem filaree
(Erodium circutarium): 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.
Wild oats seedling.
Wild oats
(Avena fatua): Grass family; winter annual; first leaves with small marginal hairs and counterclockwise twist when viewed from above; ligule large, papery, and pointed.
Wild radish seedling, Raphanus raphanistrum .
Wild radish
(Raphanus raphanistrum): Mustard family; winter annual; seed leaves broad with deep notch at tip; first true leaves irregularly lobed and sometimes with separate lobes at leaf base; seedlings similar to mustards in genus Brassica, but duller green and rougher textured.

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