Today’s weed is a fairly common weed in your lawn, but many people are not familiar with its name. Groundsel — a winter annual — is found is several places, including lawns, gardens, pastures and planter boxes.
Common groundsel seeds germinate in mid-spring and in autumn, flowering 5-6 weeks after seedlings emerge. Approximately 5-11 days after flowering, most seeds are able to germinate immediately.
Groundsel can grow to heights of 6-18 inches tall, with mature leaves about 3/4 – 4 inches long and 1/4 – 1 3/4 inches wide. Veins on the underside of the leaves are usually cottony-hairy. Stems are often purplish in color. The flower head appears to look like a small dandelion.
This pesky weed grows easily in the lawn and garden, but is not difficult to eliminate, especially with a consistent application of weed killer. For best results, use a pre-emergent application in the early spring, continuing with a blanket application of weed killer throughout the year.