Weeds are plants that grow in places where you do not want them to. Unfortunately, these places often include lawns and home gardens that many people hold closer to their hearts. Some types of lawn weeds are particularly aggressive. They can quickly take our entire garden beds, choking out other desirable plants and lawn grasses. In this article, let’s discuss about lawn weeds with little white flowers.
Photo Credit Also known as pokeberry, pokeweed is a strong-smelling plant with poisonous roots.
Lawn and garden weeds are a very diverse group of plants that come in various colors, sizes, and shapes. For example, some lawn weed types have purple flowers while others have yellow flowers. If you want to learn about them, you can check our guides on weeds with yellow flowers here and weeds with purple flowers here.
Photo Credit Creeping cinquefoil: An invasive weed with bright yellow flowers
Photo Credit Poison ivy: Also known as ground ivy, it is an evergreen perennial weed with light purple flowers.
This article introduces you to the most common lawn weeds that have white flowers. Some of these common flowering weeds are pretty beautiful and can add a nice aesthetic touch to lawns and gardens. Additionally, some white-flowered weeds might attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to the garden beds.
However, this is not to say that you should let them bloom freely and take over your lawn. These invasive plants not only make your lawn or garden look messy, but they can also rob other plants of nutrients, sunlight, and water. So, let us help you learn about some of the common weeds having white flowers.
To help you identify weeds, our guide includes a visual representation of each weed along with its physical description. We will also tell you about the distribution and habitat of each weed so you can figure out when and where you are most likely to find a particular weed. In addition to that, our guide also includes some of the most effective weed control methods to help you deal with some of the more common flowering weeds. Happy reading!
Common Lawn Weeds With Little White Flowers
Photo Credit Flower head of a white clover plant.
Photo Credit White clover plants can have either white or purple flowers.
Over the years, white clover has probably become the most common lawn weed in home lawns and other turfgrass areas. White clover grows best in full sun and is a prevalent lawn weed of under-fertilized lawns and gardens. It forms creeping stems under the turfgrass by producing stolons. This results in the formation of a patchy white clover network that can ruin the beauty of your lawn. White clover plants can also fix nitrogen which enables them to grow well in infertile soils.
However, the white clover plant has a shallow root system which does not do well in dry conditions. To control white clover from spreading in your garden, maintain the health and density of your lawn by establishing fertile soil. Setting up a proper mowing height could also help reduce its infestation. If an infestation has progressed too far, you can also try using a post-emergent herbicide after professional consultation.
White Clover Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Trifolium repens|
|Other names||Dutch clover, ladino, ladino clover|
|Weed type||Herbaceous perennial|
|Height||Six to twelve inches tall on average|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowering occurs during late spring or early summer|
– Plants have predominantly white and slightly pink flowers
– Each flower head contains around 40 to 80 florets
– Leaves are smooth and oval; each leaf consists of 3 oval-shaped leaflets
|Habitat and Distribution||– Native to Europe and Asia|
– Introduced as a forage crop in the rest of the world
– Commonly found in the grassy areas of North America, Australia, and New Zealand
– Habitats include places where usually infertile and moist soil exists
Photo Credit Black nightshade flowers.
Photo Credit Fruits (berries) of black nightshade.
Black nightshade plants often become problematic in field crop production in the northeastern regions of the United States. These broadleaf weeds cause a reduction in crop yield and, more importantly, can interfere with harvesting and crop quality. It is because mature plants have a tendency to stick together and create a dense mat that can clog harvesting machinery.
Moreover, black nightshade plants produce red or purple fruits, and all parts of the plant are considered poisonous. These broadleaf weeds can also harbor pests and diseases that attack closely related crops such as peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. Therefore, if you spot these weeds in your lawn or garden, you should immediately remove them. Generally, they are controlled by using a pre-emergent herbicide; however, the plant has developed resistance to some herbicides.
Black Nightshade Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Solanum nigrum|
|Other names||Blackberry nightshade, European black nightshade|
|Weed type||Broadleaf annual weed|
|Height||6 to 24 inches tall on average|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowers bloom from March through October|
– Flowers are star-shaped and form in an umber-like cluster
– Plant has oval to diamond-shaped leaves
– Dark green leaves with a lower purple surface
|Habitat and Distribution||– Native to Eurasia|
– Introduced in Australia, South Africa, and the Americas
– Commonly found in disturbed soils and cultivated fields, including flower beds, vegetable gardens, and overgrazed lands
Photo Credit Hairy bittercress flowers.
Photo Credit Hairy bittercress leaves.
Hairy bittercress is amongst the first broadleaf lawn weeds that appear during early spring. It is often found near ornamental plants, paved areas, and vegetable gardens. Hairy bittercress is a member of the mustard family. These plants can function as biennials, summer annuals, or winter annuals. Hairy bittercress grows best in moist soil and is a common sight after heavy rainfall.
Like other members of the mustard family, these common weeds are also prolific seed producers. Only a few plants or seeds can cause a widespread infestation in a matter of just a few months. Disturbing seed heads can spread the weed seeds as far as 16 feet from where the mother plant is. These prolific weeds are best managed when they are young.
You can uproot young plants by hand. However, do not use this common lawn weed in compost as you might spread the seed heads. If plants are already mature and flowering, you can use a post-emergent herbicide to prevent seed germination. However, make sure that you follow all the labeled instructions on herbicide packaging before use.
Hairy Bittercress Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Cardamine hirsuta|
|Other names||Flick Weed, hoary bittercress, shot weed, spring cress, lamb’s cress, land cress|
|Weed type||Annual or biennial|
|Height||4 to 12 inches tall|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowers bloom between April and May|
– Flowers develop atop long stems, with each flower having four white petals
– Leaves are compound and have rounded leaflets
|Habitat and Distribution||– Common in moist areas around the world|
Photo Credit Flowers of the tall fescue grass.
Photo Credit Tall fescue leaves and stems.
Tall Fescue is an invasive perennial weed of the other common types of lawn grasses. It is an opportunistic plant that often pops up near disturbed areas and abandoned places. Since it grows significantly faster than other types of desirable grasses, it is very noticeable. It looks unappealing amongst the thick turf of the desirable grass.
These perennial weeds are important forage grass throughout Europe, and many of its cultivars are being used in agriculture. It is the most heat-resistant grass of the major cool-season grasses. The best way to avoid a tall fescue infestation is to cut the weedy patches of this pesky grass as soon as they appear with a shovel or a knife.
However, you must make sure that you uproot the grass entirely, or it will regrow. You can also use a suitable turfgrass weed killer in your lawn. However, take care not to use a nonselective herbicide as it can also damage the desirable plants of your lawn or garden.
Tall Fescue Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Festuca arundinacea|
|Other names||Kentucky 31 fescue|
|Weed type||Cool-season perennial|
|Height||Up to 4 inches|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowers appear between April and July|
– Flowers are green-white and in the form of spikelets
– Leaves are broad and have prominent veins
|Habitat and Distribution||– Native to Europe, introduced elsewhere|
– Habitats include agricultural fields, lawns, pastures, and grass prairies
Photo Credit Chickweed flowers.
Photo Credit Chickweed leaves.
Chickweed was a preferred feed for chickens and other birds in the past, and that is where it gets its name. It thrives in moist, shady, and cool conditions. Chickweed harbors several viruses and other pests that affect several vegetable crops.
The weed spreads by both roots and seeds. Once established, it can be challenging to get rid of. Your best chance of avoiding an infestation is to keep an eye out. In case of an infestation, you can use a selective broadleaf herbicide. Young plants can also be uprooted, but the weed tends to come back.
Common Chickweed Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Stellaria media|
|Other names||Winterweed, chickenwort|
|Weed type||Annual and perennial|
|Height||4 to 16 inches|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowering can occur all year round if conditions are favorable|
– Usually, flowers bloom from February to September
– Leaves are pointy and broadly egg-shaped
|Distribution||– Native to Eurasia and naturalized worldwide|
Photo Credit Garlic mustard flowers.
Photo Credit Garlic mustard leaves.
Over the past 100 years or so, mustard garlic has become one of the most invasive invaders of forests in Northeast and Midwest America. Its spread has caused it to become a dominant plant in the undergrowth of some forests. It can compete very aggressively with the native vegetation in lawns and forests.
Unlike many other weeds, it does not grow from underground stems or roots. So, the best strategy to fight off garlic mustard infestation is to uproot the plants by hand.
However, plants must be removed before seed production starts. The weed is a prolific seed producer, and once spread, it leaves little space for other plants to grow.
Garlic Mustard Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Alliaria petiolata|
|Other names||Garlic root, hedge garlic, sauce-alone, poor man’s mustard, jack-in-the-bush, penny hedge, jack-by-the-hedge|
|Height||– 2 to 3 feet tall on average|
– Sometimes can grow as tall as 6 feet
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowers bloom in spring and summer|
– Flowers are small, white, and have four petals
– Leaves are triangular to heart-shaped
|Distribution||– Originating from Europe and parts of Asia|
– A restricted noxious weed in parts of the US (can’t be transported or sold)
– Habitats include disturbed areas, roadsides, savannas, floodplain forests, etc.
Photo Credit English daisy flowers.
Photo Credit English daisy leaves.
English daisy is a common weed of parks, lawns, and other turf areas. It is often found growing in fertile, moist soils. English daisy produces basal rosettes that spread quickly and form patches in the turf. English daisy plants spread via both seeds and rhizomes. Seeds spread through the wind while rhizomes at nodes give rise to new plants. Most lawn owners and gardeners allow its presence because of its rather attractive white flowers.
However, if you want to remove these from your lawn, the first thing to do is improve lawn density. Also, most commercially available post-emergent pesticides can help you eliminate white daisy patches in your yard.
English Daisy Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Bellis perennis|
|Other names||Common daisy, lawn daisy, bruisewort, woundwort|
|Height||6 to 12 inches|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowers bloom during spring (March through September)|
– Flowers are showy; outer petals are white or pink while inner petals are yellow
– Leaves are spoon or egg-shaped and have a rounded tip
|Distribution||– Native to the western, central, and northern regions of Europe|
– Naturalized and widespread in most temperate regions of the world
– Habitats include cool, moist regions such as lawns, parks, and other turf places
Mouse Ear Chickweed
Photo Credit Mouse-ear chickweed flowers.
Photo Credit Mouse-ear chickweed leaves.
Mouse-eared chickweed is one of the most widespread invasive weeds worldwide. Mouse-eared chickweed is often confused with the common chickweed. However, it has fuzzy, hairy stems and leaves compared to the common chickweed, which has hairless leaves and a single row of hair on stems.
Mouse-eared chickweed harbors cucumber mosaic virus. Plants infected with this virus start to molt, and their leaves curl. The fruits of infected plants might also turn yellow. The best strategy to manage these pesky weeds is to remove them before flowering and discourage seed dispersal. You can also use chemical control to remove mouse-eared chickweed from your lawn if needed.
Mouse Ear Chickweed Quick Facts
|Other names||Starweed, mouse-ear|
|Weed type||Annual, winter annual, or perennial|
|Height||– 5 to 20 cm tall on average|
– However, sometimes, it can grow as tall as 45 cm
|Flowering & Leaves||– Flowering occurs from early spring to late fall months|
– Each flower has five deeply notched petals
– Leaves are egg-shaped, stalkless, and toothless
|Distribution||– Distributed throughout the world|
– Most common in northern temperate regions
– Habitats include waste places, damp flats, and weak, annual pastures
Photo Credit Jimsonweed flowers.
Photo Credit Jimsonweed leaves and seed head.
It is a weed of concern for both animals and humans as all parts of the jimsonweed contain alkaloids, especially its seeds. In humans, jimsonweed poisoning can also cause death. The weed gets its name from Jamestown, Virginia, where it was used in the mid-1600s to poison British soldiers.
Jimsonweed has also been used as a hallucinogen. The weed proliferates and is often found in agricultural land and open or managed disturbed places. Jimson weed spreads through seeds, and without competition, a single plant can produce 30,000 or more seeds.
The weed has a shallow root system. Therefore, hand-weeding, especially during the early stages of growth, is very effective for their eradication. Selective broadleaf herbicides can be used in later stages of an infestation.
Jimsonweed Quick Facts
|Scientific name||Datura stramonium|
|Other names||Devil’s snare, thorn apple, devil’s trumpet|
|Height||Almost 1 to 2 meters|
|Flowering & Leaves||– Generally, flowers throughout the summer|
– Flowers are pinkish-white and have a pleasant smell
– Flowers open at night and attract moths
– Leaves are smooth, soft, toothed, and highly undulated
|Distribution||– Originated in Central America|
– Introduced and widespread in many regions of the world
– Often found in fields, waste areas, cultivated areas, and pastures
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the weeds with white flowers called?
The tiny white flowers that you sometimes see in your lawn and think are a good sign of summer can occasionally be as evil for your yard as dandelions. There are many different types of weeds with white flowers. To identify the name of a particular weed, you will need a proper weed identification guide which you can find above.
However, remember that not all white flowers in your garden can be designated as actual weeds or harmful to your garden. Some can attract pollinators, and others might just look aesthetically pleasing. So, we suggest you read the article above before you go ahead and pull these little white flowers out of your lawns.
How to get rid of little white-flowered weeds?
To get rid of white-flowered weeds, you can rely on several lawn care methods ranging from hand pulling to the use of herbicides. The choice of weed removal method will largely depend on the severity of the infestation and the life stage at which you catch a lawn weed. For example, if weed plants are still young, haven’t flowered, or shed seeds, you can manage them by simply uprooting them from the garden beds.
You can also use a pre-emergent herbicide to keep your lawn free of white-flowered weeds. Also, make sure that you do not use a nonspecific herbicide as it can also harm desirable plants. However, suppose a weed has already taken hold of your lawn. In that case, you might want to use post-emergent herbicides after expert opinion.
Are dandelions weeds?
They look pretty, and children love playing with them. However, these fluffy flowers can often become a persistent weed of many lawns and gardens if left alone to spread freely. Dandelions invade ornamental beds, lawns, landscapes, and nurseries. They form taproots, which makes hand-removing the weed especially difficult.
The best treatment method is the use of herbicides for established plants. Any pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide containing 2,4-D-florasulam is usually very effective. Treating lawns with herbicide during late summer or early fall provides the best result.
Sources for Further Reading
- White flowers – Cooperative Extension: Maine Wild Blueberries – University of Maine Cooperative Extension. (2022). Retrieved 9 April 2022, from https://extension.umaine.edu/blueberries/weed-images/herbaceous-broadleaf-weeds/white-flowers/
- Spring blooming lawn and garden weeds: A focus on winter annual identification and management. (2021). Retrieved 9 April 2022, from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/spring-blooming-lawn-and-garden-weeds
- Broadleaf Weeds. (2022). Retrieved 9 April 2022, from https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/broadleaf-weeds/
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