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What is a Weed?

It's not grass, it's in the lawn, is it a weed?


What is a Weed?

Typical Broadleaf Weed

photo © Kelly Burke

What is a Weed?

A weed is defined as any plant growing where it is not wanted, but to obsess over a few weeds in your lawn is to lose touch with the therapeutic benefits it can offer. Some weeds, however, can be an indicator of a larger problem that may need to be remedied and knowing what type of weed you're dealing with is the first step in being able to address a weed problem.

There are three types of lawn weeds:

Broadleaf weeds: encompass every other type of weed including chickweed, dandelion and clover

Grassy weeds: invasive, fast-growing grasses like Crabgrass and goosegrass

Grass-like weeds: weeds with upright growth and narrow leaf blades like sedges and wild onion

Weeds can further be classified by how they complete their life cycle.

Annuals start from seed and complete their life cycle in one growing season. Cool season annuals germinate in late summer or fall, go dormant for the winter, flower in spring or early summer, then die. Warm season annuals germinate during the spring or summer, flower, and die at the end of that growing season.

Biennials require two years to complete their life cycle. They grow vegetatively during the first season and flower and die during the second year.

Perennials live for multiple seasons and can flower every year.

Although Ralph Waldo Emerson said "A weed is a plant whose virtues have never been discovered," most people would rather not have them around.

See weed profiles here

See weed photo gallery here

See weed botanical illustrations here

Related Video
How to Weed Eat Your Yard
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