Weeds

Weeds are inevitable.

Weeds are wind-borne; brought in by pets and people; introduced by the lawnmower man; dispersed in bird-droppings; etc. They are an ongoing enemy in one’s garden that marches on and on in an endless invasion.

The good news is, in all cases, weeds can be kept under control. The bad is- they’ll keep on coming back.

Fortunately, we have places of relaxation called golf courses, bowling greens, cricket pitches, tennis courts and football grounds- all of which want to give you the best playing surface and, all of which, need to spend big money to remove and control weeds and give you those great playing surfaces. That means that there are chemical companies out there that spend a lot of money in time and research to bring us chemicals that will help kill those weeds.

No matter what the weed, there is a chemical that will kill it.

Which brings us to the next problem: what chemical to use that will kill the weeds WITHOUT killing your plant? Well, in many cases, the chemical companies have found solutions that will help us in the garden, mainly brought about by the demand from the above sporting venues. However, if the weed isn’t a concern on the golf course, then the chemical company hasn’t the demand to research that weed that you may have in your garden. Are you getting me, now? With demand comes supply. You, therefore, may have a weed or weeds in your garden that won’t have a chemical to kill it without killing other plants or, in this case, your lawn.

If you read on, you’ll come across a lot of weeds found in lawns around Sydney. Many of them are common, world-wide, but these are the weeds that you can expect to find in Sydney and its environs.

On your right, you’ll find a photo of the weed.  On the left, you’ll find the plant name, its common name and
botanical name, a brief description and whether or not it can be controlled without killing other plants.

This site was built to help the ‘home gardener’- not the horticulturalist. We’ve tried to keep the site as basic and as simple to understand as possible, catering for the lowest common denominator (for want of a better phrase). Feedback is important to the development of this website. If a photograph is unclear or you think there isn’t enough detail in the shot to properly identify any of the weeds, then please let us know by emailing us.

Algae

Weeds - Basket-Grass

Common names- Algae
Botanical name- N/A
Identifying features- Various- can be- slimy; black; dark green; moss-like; spongy texture (any of these)
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Algacide

Basket Grass

Weeds - Basket-Grass

Common names- Basket Grass
Botanical name- Oplismenus imbecillis/aemulus
Identifying features- Sprawling habit. Wavy leaves
Commonly confused with- Tahitian Bridal Veil
Ease of control- Very difficult. However, we have a blend of chemicals that work.

Bindii

weeds - Bindii

Common names- Bindy/ Bindii/ Jojo/ Onehunga
Botanical name- Soliva sessilis
Identifying features- Bright green foliage. Feathery leaves. Seeds turn brown and have tiny spines.
Commonly confused with- Carrot Weed
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Blowfly Grass

Weeds - Blowfly Grass

Common names- Blowfly Grass/ Qualing Grass/ Rattlesnake Grass
Botanical name- Briza maxima
Identifying features- The seed heads look like insect pupae
Commonly confused with- Shivery Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Burr Medic

Weeds - Burr Medic

Common names- burr medic, burr clover, California bur-clover, hairy medic, spiny burr medic, toothed bur clover.
Botanical name- Medicago polymorpha
Identifying features- Tri-lobed leaf with a seed shaped like a thorny ball. Sprawling growth habit.
Commonly confused with- Oxalis/ Clover
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Buttercup

Weeds - Buttercup

Common names- Creeping Buttercup
Botanical name- Ranunculus repens
Identifying features- Bright, glossy, yellow flower
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Very difficult. A blend of chemicals will eradicate this.

Carpet Grass

Weeds - Carpet Grass

Common names- Narrow-leafed Carpet Grass/ Durrington Grass
Botanical name- Axonopus affinis
Identifying features- Stems turn red in winter while the leaf tips brown off
Commonly confused with- Buffalo grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Carrot Weed

Weeds - Carrot Weed

Common names- Wild Carrot/ Bird’s Nest/ Bishop’s Lace/ Queen Anne’s Lace
Botanical name- Daucus carota
Identifying features- Feathery leaves. Bright green foliage. Tiny white flowers which form an umbel (umbrella shape)
Commonly confused with- Bindii
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Catsear

Weeds - Catsear

Common names- Cat’s Ear/Catsear/Flatweed/False Dandelion
Botanical name- Hypochoeris radicata
Identifying features- Wiry stem which branches off. Yellow flower.
Commonly confused with- Dandelion (Dandelion has tubular stem/ Fireweed
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Caustic Weed

Weeds - Caustic Weed

Common names- Caustic Weed
Botanical name- Euphorbia drummondii
Identifying features- Prostrate growing habit. Branches off from a single stem like spokes on a wheel.
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killersSpecial notes- The sap is toxic

Chickweed

Weeds - Chickweed

Common names- chickenwort/craches/maruns/winterweed
Botanical name- Stellaria media
Identifying features- Five white ‘bi-lobed’ flowers (looks like ten individual petals).
Commonly confused with- Mouse-eared Chickweed
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Clover

Weeds - Clover

Common names- Dutch Clover
Botanical name- Trifolium repens
Identifying features- Tri-lobed leaves with white flowers.
Commonly confused with- Oxalia/ Medic
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Crab Grass

Weeds - Crab Grass

Common names- Crab Grass
Botanical name- Digitaria sanguinalis
Identifying features- Stems spread out from the centre like spokes on a bicycle wheel.
Commonly confused with- Buffalo/ Paspalum/ Carpet Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicides

Creeping Charlie

Weeds - Creeping Charlie

Common names- Creeping Charlie/ Ground Ivy
Botanical name- Glechoma hederacea
Identifying features- Fan-shaped leaves with round-toothed edges. Blue/ Mauve flowers
Commonly confused with- Common Mallow
Ease of control- Not easy. Herbicides with Dicamba- applied in Autumn is the best time.

Creeping Oxalis

Weeds - Creeping Oxalis

Common names- Creeping Oxalis/ Creeping Woodsorrel
Botanical name- Oxalis corniculata
Identifying features- Tiny tri-lobed leaves with tiny yellow flowers
Commonly confused with- Clover
Ease of control- Several ‘selected’ broad-leafed herbicides

Cudweed

Weeds - Cudweed

Common names- Cudweed/ Shiny Cudweed
Botanical name- Gnaphalium spicatum
Identifying features- Leaves- fleshy. Shiny on top/ pale green underneath
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Dandelion

Weeds - Dandelion
Common names- Dandelion
Botanical name- Taraxacum officinale
Identifying features- Stems- Tubular (hollow). Yellow flowers.
Commonly confused with- Catsear/ Fireweed
Ease of control- most broad-leafed weed killers

Dayflower

Weeds - Dayflower

Common names- Dayflower
Botanical name- Commelina communis
Identifying features- Fleshy leaves with a blue flower
Commonly confused with- Wandering Jew
Ease of control- Very difficult. Hand weeding is best.

Dock

Weeds - Dock

Common names- Dock
Botanical name- Rumex spp.
Identifying features- Large oval leaves. Lower leaves have red stems.
Commonly confused with-Nil
Ease of control- Very deep taproot. Paint glyphosate onto leaf.

Fireweed

Weeds - Fireweed

Common names- Fireweed/ Madagascar ragwort/ Madagascar groundsel
Botanical name- Senecio madagascariensis
Identifying features- Many yellow, daisy-like flowers
Commonly confused with- Some people may confuse them with Dandelions.
Ease of control- Broad-leafed herbicide. Prolific flowerers Special note- Highly toxic

Fleabane

Weeds - leabane

Common names- Canadian fleabane
Botanical name- Conyza canadensis
Identifying features- Long, slender leaves with toothed edges. Can grow to 1.5 metres in height
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Broad-leafed weed killer

Flickweed

Weeds - Flickweed

Common names- Flickweed/ Hoary bitter cress/ Lamb’s cress/ Shotcress/ Springcress
Botanical name- Cardamine hirsuta
Identifying features- Fleshy stems and leaves.
Commonly confused with- May get confused with Petty Spurge
Ease of control- Broad-leafed weed killer

Guildford Grass

Weeds - Guildford Grass

Common names- Guildford Grass/ Onion Grass
Botanical name- Romulea rosea
Identifying features- Very fine, dark green, wiry leaf. Pinky purple, star-shaped flower
Commonly confused with- Nut Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Henbit

Weeds - Henbit

Common names- Greater Henbit
Botanical name- Lamium amplexicaule
Identifying features- Leaves are lobed. Flowers are mauve- purple
Commonly confused with- May get confused with Primula siboldii
Ease of control- Broad-leafed herbicide

Kidney Weed

Weeds - Kidney Weed

Common names- Dichondra/ Kidney weed
Botanical name- Dichondra repens
Identifying features- Kidney-shaped leaves
Commonly confused with- Native Violet/ Mallow
Ease of control- Extremely difficult to dig out as it has an underground root system. Specialised chemical available.

Lichen

Weeds - Lichen

Common names- LichenLichens are made up of a biological composite of fungi and algae- one absorbing light for energy, the other absorbing moisture and minerals
Identifying features- Quite often resembles bird poop. Comes in varying shades of greens, yellows and oranges.
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Algacide or Biocide

Mallow

Weeds - Mallow

Common names- Mallow/ Cheeseweed/ Cheeseplant
Botanical name- Malva neglecta
Identifying features- Fan-shaped leaves with tiny serrations
Commonly confused with- Dichondra/ Native Violet
Ease of control- Broad-leafed herbicide

Medic

Weeds - Medic

Common names- Black Hay/ Blackweed/ Barrel Medic/ Barrel Clover/ Burr Clover/ Burr Medic
Botanical name- Medicago spp.
Identifying features- Tri-lobed leaf. Yellow flower.
Commonly confused with- Clover/ Oxalis
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Moss

Weeds - Moss

Common names- Moss
Botanical name- N/A
Identifying features- Normally spongy vegetation
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Algacide or Biocide

Mouse eared Chickweed

Weeds - Mouse eared Chickweed

Common names- mouse-ear chickweed, cerastium, clammy chickweed, clustered mouse ear, mouse-eared chickweed, sticky chickweed, sticky mouse-ear,
Botanical name- Cerastium glomeratum
Identifying features- Pale green, oval-shaped leaves which are also slightly hairy and sticky.
Commonly confused with- Common chickweed
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Mullumbimby Couch

Weeds - Mullumbimby Couch

Common names- Mullumbimby Couch
Botanical name- Cyperus brevifolius
Identifying features- Leaves are shiny, green and have stem with a triangular shaped cross section. Flowers look like hairy heads.
Commonly confused with- Nut Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicides

Nutgrass

Weeds - Nutgrass

Common names- Nutgrass/ Java Grass/ Nut Sedge
Botanical name- Cyperus rotundus
Identifying features- Leaves are shiny, green and have stem with a triangular shaped cross section. Flowerhead is brown to purple in colour
Commonly confused with- Mullumbimby Couch
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Oxalis

Weeds - Oxalis

Common names- Sorrel/ Oxalis
Botanical name- Oxalis spp.
Identifying features- Tri-lobed leaves. Thin, fleshy stems
Commonly confused with- Clover/ Medic
Ease of control- Some broad-leafed herbicides

Paspalum

Weeds - Paspalum

Common names- Sticky Heads/ Paspalum
Botanical name- Paspalum dilatatum
Identifying features- A dense, stiff, clumping grass with a spiky stem and green seed heads
Commonly confused with- Crab Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Pennywort

Weeds - Pennywort

Common names- Indian Pennywort, Marsh Penny, Thick-leaved Pennywort, Dollarweed
Botanical name- Hydracotyl spp.
Identifying features- Normally bright green contrasting in colour and texture to other vegetation; can be spongey
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Difficult. A blend of chemicals will take this out.

Petty Spurge

Weeds - Petty Spurge

Common names- Radium Weed/ Cancer Weed/ Milk Weed
Botanical name- Euphorbia peplis
Identifying features- Milky sap
Commonly confused with- Mouse-eared Chickweed
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Pigweed

Weeds - Pigweed

Common names- Pigweed/ Purslane/ Little Hogweed
Botanical name- Portulaca oleraceae
Identifying features- Thick, fleshy leaves
Commonly confused with- Portulaca
Ease of control- Some broad-leafed herbicidesSpecial notes- Can be eaten as a salad vegetable

Ribwort

Weeds - Ribwort

Common names- Plantain/ Ribwort/ Buckhorn/ Lamb’s Tongue
Botanical name- Plantago lanceolata
Identifying features- long, dark green, ribbed leaves
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Richardia

Weeds - Richardia

Common names- Madder/ Field Madder
Botanical name- Richardia stellaris
Identifying features- Prostrate growth habit. White, star- shaped flowers set in a tight cluster.
Commonly confused with- Could be confused with Chickweed
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Scarlet Pimpernel

Weeds - Scarlet Pimpernel

Common names- Scarlet Pimpernel/ Red Pimpernel/ Red Chickweed
Botanical name- Anagallis arvensis
Identifying features- Bright, orangey-red flowers
Commonly confused with- Chickweed
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Scotch Thistle

Weeds - Scotch Thistle

Common names- Spear Thistle/ Scotch Thistle
Botanical name- Cirsium vulgare
Identifying features- Purple flower. Spiny leaves and stem. Grows to 1.5 metres
Commonly confused with- Sow Thistle
Ease of control- Grub it out/ glyphosate

Seaside Daisy

Weeds - Seaside Daisy

Common names- Seaside Daisy/ Beach Aster
Botanical name- Erigeron glaucous
Identifying features- White, Mauve and Purple daisy-like flowers flowering at once on very thin stems.
Commonly confused with- Other daisies
Ease of control- Selective broad-leafed herbicides

Shepherd’s Purse

Weeds - Shepherd's Purse

Common names- Shepherd’s Purse
Botanical name- Capsella bursa-pastoris
Identifying features- Heavily lobed leaves
Commonly confused with- Dandelion/ Catsear
Ease of control- Selective herbicides

Shivery Grass

Weeds - Shivery Grass

Common names- Lesser Quaking Grass/ Shivery Grass
Botanical name- Briza minor
Identifying features- A very light-framed, tufted grass with many small seed heads
Commonly confused with- Blowfly Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Sow Thistle

Weeds - Sow Thistle

Common names- Sow Thistle/ Milk Thistle
Botanical name- Sonchus oleraceus
Identifying features- Yellow, dandelion-like flower. Glossy, dark green leaves that look slightly spiky. Can grow up to 1.5 metres
Commonly confused with- Dandelion/ Thistle
Ease of control- Selective herbicides

Speedwell

Weeds - Speedwell

Common names- Speedwell/ Persian Speedwell
Botanical name- Veronica persica
Identifying features- Small, blue, four-lobed flower with a white centre. Leaves- roughly toothed.
Commonly confused with- Forget-Me-Nots
Ease of control- Most broad-leafed herbicides

Summer Grass

Weeds - Summer Grass

Common names- Summer Grass, Hairy Crabgrass, Wild Crabgrass
Botanical name- Digitaria ciliaris
Identifying features- A bright green grass with wide leaves
Commonly confused with- Veldt
Ease of control- Some selective herbicides. Removal by hand.

Veldt Grass

Weeds - Veldt

Common names- Veldt
Botanical name- Ehrharta erecta
Identifying features- Fine, thin stems protruding from a centre crown. Leaves are long and floppy and normally paler in colour than other grasses.
Commonly confused with- Summer Grass
Ease of control- Selective herbicide. Removal by hand.

Wandering Jew

Weeds - Wandering Jew

Common names- Wandering Jew/ Spiderwort/ Wandering Gypsy
Botanical name- Tradescantia fluminensis
Identifying features- Fleshy green leaves and stem. Small, white, tri-lobed flowers
Commonly confused with- Tahitian Bridal Veil/ Basket Grass
Ease of control- Not easy. Rake and hand-weed

White Root

Weeds - White Root

Common names- White Root
Botanical name- Pratia purpurascens
Identifying features- Creeping, prostrate habit with tiny white flower
Commonly confused with- Nil
Ease of control- Only one selective herbicide available

Wild Strawberry

Weeds - Wild Strawberry

Common names- Wild Strawberry/ Ornamental Strawberry
Botanical name- Frageria vesca
Identifying features- Red fruit with external seeds
Commonly confused with- Real strawberries
Ease of control- Not easy.

Wild Violet

Weeds - Wild Violet

Common names- Blue Violet/ Wild Violet
Botanical name- Viola sororia
Identifying features- Clustering plant. Small purply/ mauve flowers
Commonly confused with- Real violets
Ease of control- Not easy. Glyphosate

Winter Grass

Weeds - Winter Grass

Common names- Winter Grass/ Annual Blue Grass
Botanical name- Poa annua
Identifying features- Tufted grass with shiny, dark green leaves. Prolific seeder. Once you know the plant, the seeds are the tell-tale sign.
Commonly confused with- Fescues
Ease of control- Selective herbicide

Soursob

Weeds - Soursob

Common names- Basket Grass
Botanical name- Oplismenus imbecillis/aemulus
Identifying features- Sprawling habit. Wavy leaves
Commonly confused with- Tahitian Bridal Veil
Ease of control- Very difficult. However, we have a blend of chemicals that work.

Hydrocotyl

Weeds - Hydrocotyl

Common names- Basket Grass
Botanical name- Oplismenus imbecillis/aemulus
Identifying features- Sprawling habit. Wavy leaves
Commonly confused with- Tahitian Bridal Veil
Ease of control- Very difficult. However, we have a blend of chemicals that work.

Basket Grass

Weeds - Basket Grass

Common names- Basket Grass
Botanical name- Oplismenus imbecillis/aemulus
Identifying features- Sprawling habit. Wavy leaves
Commonly confused with- Tahitian Bridal Veil
Ease of control- Very difficult. However, we have a blend of chemicals that work.