Michigan weed with whtie seed pod

Invasive Species: Vines

Species that are not native and also have the potential to harm human health or to harm natural, agricultural or silvicultural resources can be listed as prohibited or restricted by the State of Michigan. If a species is prohibited or restricted, it is unlawful to possess, introduce, import, sell or offer that species for sale as a live organism, except under certain circumstances.

Black Swallow-wort

Cynanchum louiseae (Vincetoxicum nigrum)

Black swallow-wort, also known as dog-strangling vine, is a perennial vine with shiny, oval to heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips. Flowers are small, dark purple, and shaped like stars. Seed pods and seeds are similar to those of milkweed plants.

Common Weeds in Michigan

Use the photos and details in this guide to help identify the weeds invading your lawn. Green Planet offers effective solutions for eliminating weeds.

Black Medic
With its three leaflet clover like leaves, this legume is often confused with white clover. Low growing, with trailing, slightly hairy stems, it produces clusters of small, bright yellow flowers in late spring to early summer.

Broadleaf Plantain
Broadleaf plantain has gray-green, egg-shaped, wavy-edged leaves growing in ground-hugging rosettes. Narrow seed heads appear in a long cluster on a central, upright stem.

The leaves are compound, with 3 broad leaflets (sometimes 4, if you’re lucky!) 1.3 – 2.5 cm long, with tiny teeth on the edges, a pale triangular mark appears on each leaflet.

Curly Dock
Bright, shiny green, lance-shaped leaves appear in spring. In summer and fall, the puckered wavy edges of the leaves are tinted reddish purple. Small greenish flowers appear on a tall, narrow spike coming from the center of the plant. Dallis Grass
Look for coarse blades somewhat upright in a bunch-type growth. Rhizomes are so closely jointed that they appear almost scaly.

Everyone recognizes the bright yellow flowers of dandelions; they appear in early spring and are followed by puffy seed heads. They arise from rosettes of lance-shaped leaves.

English Daisy
Leaves of this perennial vary from nearly smooth to hairy, and form an extremely dense cluster. The daisy like flowers growing on 2-inch stalks have bright yellow centers highlighted with white to pinkish outer rays.

Ground Ivy
Also called creeping charlie, is a common lawn weed problem. Lawns in shaded areas and often with poorly drained fertile soil are typical sites for ground ivy to develop into a major problem.

Mouse-ear Chickweed
The name of this weed offers a clue to its appearance. It has long, narrow, fleshy leaves that look fuzzy. Small, white flowers appear in late spring and early summer, followed by seed heads in mid summer.

Oxalis has bright yellow flowers and green leaves. It grows upright. Oxalis is a perennial with seeds and rootstocks so that it sometimes appears to be a creeping vine.

Purslane has sprawling, thick, fleshy stems with rubbery leaves. Tiny, yellow, five-petaled flowers open when the sun is shining brightly.

Quackgrass is characterized by light green to blue-green coarse blades that are rough on their upper surface. If not mowed, it can grow 5 feet or more in a single season.

Smooth & Hairy Crabgrass
Smooth and hairy crabgrass have a prostrate growth habit with coarse, light green blades. The blades are short, pointed, and hairy.

There are several types of speedwell, all characterized by small, lobed, and numerous leaves, and by tiny white or purple flowers. The scallop-edged leaves are paired, growing opposite each other. Heart-shaped seed pods grow on the stems below the flowers. Spurge
Spurge is 6 to 36 inches in height. Erect stems support linear, alternate leaves of a bluish-green hue. The species exhibits yellow-green inflorescence on an umbel near the top of the stem.

Tall Fescue
Tall fescue does produce short rhizomes but has a bunch-type growth habit – it spreads primarily by erect tillers. Individual tillers, or stems, terminate in an inflorescence, reach 3 to 4 feet in height, and have broad, dark green basal leaves. Wild Violet
Wild violet is a winter perennial, growing 2 – 5 inches tall. It can have a tap root or a fibrous root system, and also can produce rooting stolons and rhizomes.

Yellow Nutsedge
Though it resembles a grass, yellow nutsedge is actually a sedge. Its coarse, light green leaves grow upright from triangular stems. Seed heads appear from July to October.

For more information on Green Planet’s lawn maintenance and tree care services:

Serving Genesee County, Michigan: Grand Blanc, Flint, Davison, Burton, Swartz Creek, Fenton, Frankenmuth, & Flushing, MI.

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