common weeds of missouri

12 Most Common Weeds Of Missouri Lawns And Gardens

Gardeners in Missouri often encounter troubles with eradicating common garden weeds. It is not without reason, these weeds generally interrupt the growth of plants and their lawns as they absorb nutrients in the soil. From an aesthetic point of view, these common weeds of Missouri make your garden look messy.

Moreover, some broadleaf plantain weeds that grow in a grassy garden make the lawns look so crowded. Contrary, there are edible weeds whose parts can be safely consumed. Therefore, we are here to help you identify weeds you need to eliminate and those whose existence can actually benefit you.

Common Weeds In Missouri

This time, we would like to discuss common weeds of Missouri that generally grow in your gardens and landscapes. These weed species are not necessarily noxious, but some need attention. Others provide beautiful flowers and even offer you edible parts you can consume. What are those? How can you identify the common garden weeds in Missouri? Let’s find out!

1. Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Let’s get acquainted with Chicory, one of the tall weeds in Missouri that grows up to five feet. It features hairy stems with toothed green leaves that support the beauty of the bright blue-purple blooms, giving a beautiful color combination to its appeal. With its remarkable characteristics, you may not notice if Chicory is a common weed in your garden.

common weeds of missouri
Blue Chicory fFowers

Although Chicory is a plant pest, this perennial weed has many health benefits. The roots are reported to offer a laxative effect that increases bile and reduces swelling. In addition, they are also helpful for maintaining liver and heart health despite lacking scientific evidence. It also belongs to the edible weeds whose leaves are eaten like celery while the buds and roots are boiled.

2. Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)

Having bell-shaped purple flowers with a creeping growth habit, this perennial weed is popular as the Creeping Bellflower. There are five curly yellow stamens inside the blooms that create striking color contrast against the petals. Like the previous one, it belongs to the group of tall weeds in Missouri, whose stalks can grow up to three feet with one inch of a single flower.

common weeds of missouri
Purple Creeping Bellflower

Furthermore, this common weed is one of the edible weeds. In the past Nordic countries, the swollen roots were consumed and, in fact, had a taste like a parsnip. Meanwhile, you can add the leaves to your salad if you want. In addition, the habitat of this perennial weed spreads in the northwestern quarter of Missouri, blooming from June to October.

3. Dandelion

You must be familiar with one of the most common weeds of Missouri, the Dandelion. They start to bloom in early spring by showing fluffy cotton-like seed heads and fully display the yellow flowers through spring and summer. Besides the blooms, the hairy green flower stalks are the hallmarks of this British broadleaf perennial weed, offering a wonderful color mix to the landscape.

common weeds of missouri
Dandelion Flowers

Surprisingly, you can decide to grow dandelion on your lawns as they are a nectar source for beneficial insects. They also have a lengthy root system which improves soil aeration. However, this type of roots also becomes an issue for those who want to eradicate them from their lawns. As it spreads quickly, applying herbicide in the winter will help prevent the seeds from spreading.

4. Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

People think weeds are their ultimate enemy as they compete with the garden plants to absorb soil nutrients. However, some common weeds of Missouri have beautiful features and health benefits. One of which is Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie. This spring weed offers purple, bell-shaped flowers and bright green heart leaves with toothed edges, just like other members of the Mint family.

common weeds of missouri
Ground Ivy

As for the health properties, many use the leaves of this perennial weed to cure lung problems, cough, diarrhea, bronchitis, and more. However, the leaves are mildly poisonous as some people develop dermatitis after touching them. Hence, use gloves if you want to remove this weed. Mow them to the ground several times yearly to reduce the vines’ spreads.

5. White Clover (Trifolium repens)

Trifolium repens or White Clover is one of the common weeds of Missouri that you can easily find throughout the state, especially in the disturbed area. It highlights white flowers with wedge-shaped, green leaves that have a silvery pattern in the form of faint lines on top. Meanwhile, the stems grow horizontally on top of the soil.

common weeds of missouri
White Clover

In Missouri, this weed is not considered invasive, so you still have the opportunity to make a white clover lawn to cover the empty area in your yard. In addition, you can use the leaves for soups, salads, and stir fry veggies. Or, dry them and add them to your baked goods to give a vanilla-like aroma. But if you choose to eliminate them, you can mix vinegar and dish soap, then mist them on the patch of clover growing in your garden.

6. Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

Belonging to the sedge family, Yellow Nutsedge is one of the plant weeds whose growth is spread throughout the world. In Missouri, it is a typical lawn and garden weed. Unlike Purple Nutsedge, which has deep green leaves, this sedge has bright green foliage with pointed tips. It also bears yellowish green fluffy inflorescences, just like its name.

weeds of missouri
Yellow Nutsedge

Despite having unattractive physical features, Yellow Nutsedge has edible tubers with a nutty flavor similar to almonds. This is why it is well-known as Earth Almond. You can cook or eat them raw. In addition, ancient Egyptians introduced this weed to their barley juice to add sweetness. If you want to eradicate the weeds, use vinegar spray. Also, the best time to do it is in late or early summer, when they are in the growing season.


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Invasive Weeds In Missouri

In addition to the common weeds in Missouri, we also have a collection of invasive weeds in Missouri that you need to be aware of. With their massive and fast spread, they are harmful to the environment as they threaten the growth of other plants. Hence, we are here to help you identify weeds that fall into this category in your gardens. Check them out!

7. Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

If you look at the appeal, Canada Thistle looks so lovely with a blend of white and pink blooms. But little did we know that it is one of the most noxious weeds in Missouri. It spreads rapidly, with a robust root system that makes this invasive weed hard to eradicate. Because of this root, this culprit will invade the area in a blink of an eye once it grows in your garden.

common weeds of missouri
Canada Thistle

And now the question is, how to entirely remove them? According to the USDA, you can kill them naturally using a mixture of vinegar and salts. If you want a quick result, take a broadleaf herbicide and spray them with it. But, we also recommend prevention over cure. Keep your plants well-nourished by providing fertilizer and proper water. Grow thick grass to fill the area with lawns.

8. Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)

Dipsacus fullonum L., more popular as Common Teasel, belongs to the tall weed species in Missouri. Flower stems can grow up to six feet. Atop of them, there are flower heads that will be wrapped in lavender to white blooms from mid-spring to early fall. It also features seed heads that, in their dry forms, will spread by wind.

common weeds
Common Teasel

Unfortunately, these stunning weeds are highly invasive in Missouri. Therefore, you must remove them to prevent disrupting other plants in your lawns and gardens. You can apply chemicals, like herbicide, to their rosette stage in spring or fall. But please remember that herbicide may kill surrounding plants too. Read the label and the instruction carefully before applying it to this invasive weed.

9. Cutleaf Teasel

Like its fellow pals, Cutleaf Teasel is also an invasive weed in Missouri, where its existence bothers the gardeners. Slightly different from the previous one, this one can grow taller, around seven feet. Also, the petals are not as tall as the Common Teasel, with white flowers covering the head from July to September. After flowering, this weed will die.

missouri common weeds
Cutleaf Teasel

To eradicate Cutleaf Teasel, you must identify whether their infestation is small or large. The small ones can be eliminated by physical removal, but do it before flowering as the seeds are still produced. Meanwhile, if you spot a significant infestation, use herbicide instead to remove them thoroughly in early spring or late fall.

10. Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

As its name suggests, this perennial vine may not be familiar in the gardens. But it is a troublemaker in the field. It is a native plant to Europe and now spread worldwide, with white to pink, funnel-shaped flowers with yellow stamens in the center. Its rapid growth is a severe problem for cultivated crops as it can compete with them to get the nutrients.

common weeds of missouri
Field Bindweed

Suppose this invasive weed grows in your garden. In that case, you need to immediately remove it. First, install a stick into the ground and let the Field Bindweed grow on it. Then, drag the cane, put it in the plastic (make sure the roots are still in the soil), then apply the glyphosate. Next, tie the plastic tightly and let the plant die.

11. Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)

Perhaps, you may mistake the Johnsongrass with Nutsedge as their physical features are similar. However, they are different. This perennial grass has emerging branching stems with white ribs. Additionally, the flowers are loose, brown-purplish panicles with a spreading habit. They grow everywhere that provides fertile low-land soils.

missouri common weeds
Johnsongrass

Similar to other invasive weeds in Missouri, chemical control is the best way to kill this grass. Use 2% of Roundup, a herbicide that contains glyphosate. You can also physically remove them by mowing the grass to remove the seeds. Moreover, some suggest flooding the soil with water, so the tubers rot and die.

12. Multiflora Rose

At first glance, you may not realize that Multiflora Rose is one of the common weeds of Missouri that has an invasive habit. It grows clusters of five-petaled, white to pinkish flowers that fully bloom in spring. Meanwhile, the leaves are dark green with round or arrow shapes. What makes it different from other rose species is the fringed petioles.

missouri common weeds
Multiflora Rose

Moreover, you can perform two steps of removal to get rid of this invasive weed. For the physical way, use brush mowers to cut the top growth. This method will help you apply the herbicide later. Regarding the herbicide types, USDA recommends glyphosate and triclopyr to effectively eradicate this garden pest.


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I identify weeds on my lawn?

To identify weeds on your lawns, you need to understand your soil types. It is because each weed has different growing conditions. For example, dandelions prefer soil rich in organic matter from decomposed materials.

In addition, as every season changes, so does the weeds. You will deal with different lawn weeds in summer, but not winter. Using this season’s benchmark, you can identify the type of weeds in your garden or yard.

And last but most importantly, you must know the characteristics of the weeds growing in your areas. Why? Because weeds will only succeed if the climate and geological conditions match their needs. If you live in Missouri, you better scroll up to read our common weeds of Missouri lists. It hopefully will make it easier to identify the various weeds that grow around you.

What weeds are edible in Missouri?

Besides being a garden foe, some common weeds of Missouri are edible, such as dandelion, chicory, creeping bellflower, white clover, and yellow nutsedge. The chicory, dandelion, white clover, and creeping bellflower leaves are eaten with salad. Meanwhile, the yellow nutsedge tubers have a nutty taste like almonds. You can also eat them raw if you want.

What are the most common garden weeds in Missouri?

Chicory, creeping bellflower, dandelion, ground ivy, white clover, and yellow nutsedge, are some of the most common garden weeds in Missouri. They are not necessarily invasive, yet they can offer some benefits to your gardens.

For example, the dandelion improves soil aeration that is important to reduce compaction and allow roots to absorb nutrients and grow stronger. In addition, almost all of the common weeds of Missouri mentioned are edible!

What is the difference between weeds and noxious weeds?

Weeds are unwanted plants that grow around parks, agricultural land or plantations, forests, and various disturbed areas. They can be native or non-native. Not all of them are toxic and threaten the community and the surrounding environment.

Contrary, noxious weeds are plant weeds whose presence can endanger the welfare and survival of other species, agricultural land, public health, surrounding facilities and infrastructure. Hence, controlling their growth is compulsory.

What are the worst invasive weeds in Missouri?

Canada Thistle, Common Teasel, Cutleaf Teasel, Field Bindweed, Johnsongrass, and Multiflora Rose are the most invasive weeds in Missouri.

  • Common Teasel and Cutleaf Teasel are tall weeds in Missouri. They can disrupt the vision of the driver or rider on the transportation road.
  • Field Bindweed is a noxious weed that can grow under the road signs. Same like the previous ones, it can distract the driver’s vision.
  • Johnsongrass usually grows in the cracks of road pavements, causing higher maintenance.
  • Multiflora Rose has thorns that can injure wild animals that want to graze. It also blocks access to water and forage due to its growing habit.

How do you stop invasive plants from spreading?

The most ideal way to stop invasive plants from spreading is using herbicides, such as glyphosate. But unfortunately, this method can kill other plants as it is a non-selective type of herbicide.

If you want a safer approach, try mixing vinegar, salt, or dish soap and spraying the weeds. Although this method does not apply to all common weeds of Missouri, at least it can inhibit growth. In addition, physical techniques, like mowing, may also work.

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