Annual BlueGrass Poa Annua
Annual bluegrass grows to a height of 6 to 8 inches when left unmowed. It has light green, flattened stems that are bent at the base and often rooted at the lower stem joint. Leaf blades are often crinkled part way down and vary from 1 to 3 inches in length with typical Poa, boat-shaped leaf tips. The inflorescence (flowering structure) is a terminal panicle that varies from 1 to 4 inches in length. Seed head initiation can start as soon as plants are 6 weeks old in early fall and continue until early summer, but most seed heads are formed in spring. The annual form of annual bluegrass is a rapid and prolific seeder.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a widespread, hardy annual often found in moist, fertile garden soil in the South East. In mild winter climates it begins blooming before winter ends. Edible but not very tasty, chickweed plants form dense 3-inch-tall mats of foliage studded with starry white flowers.
Dandelion is a European native perennial plant whose low spreading, deeply notched leaves form a rosette pattern as they emerge from a weak central tap root. It closely resembles endive in form and in cultural requirements. The hollow flower stalks form a single compound flower of many golden colored florets. Like chicory, varieties differ in leaf shape, ranging from very curly leaved to broad leaved.
Spotted spurge is a low-growing summer annual broadleaf plant that often forms a dense mat. Spotted spurge generally has prostrate stems that can grow up to about 20 inches (50 cm) in length, but stems can grow upward when competing for light with other plants. Branches alternate along the stem. New leaves are typically hairy, especially lower leaf surfaces. Leaves are oblong to egg shaped, about 1/6 to 2/3 of an inch (4–17 mm) long, often marked with a characteristic dark, reddish spot found midway down the center of the leaf vein, and sit atop short stalks.
White clover is a perennial with creeping stems rooting at some nodes. Leaves have three leaflets with a long erect petiole that is surrounded at the base by a membranous sheath. The flowering heads are borne on long stalks from the stems and usually rise above the leaves. The flower cluster may be 1/2 to 11/2 inches in diameter. The petals are white.
Although nutsedges resemble grasses and often are referred to as “nutgrass,” they aren’t grasses but are true sedges. Their leaves are thicker and stiffer than most grasses and are arranged in sets of three at their base; grass leaves grow across from each other in sets of two. Nutsedge stems are solid, and in cross section they are triangular; grass stems are hollow and round, and in cross section they are almost flat or oval. Nutsedge has three long, leaflike bracts at the base of each flower head. Yellow nutsedge has light brown flowers and seeds, while purple nutsedge flowers have a reddish tinge and the seeds are dark brown/ black.
Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) is a sparsely hairy winter annual with greenish to purplish, tender, square stems. Its opposite leaves are broadly egg shaped with bluntly toothed margins and prominent veins on the underside. Upper leaves are sessile (directly attached to the stem) and lower leaves have petioles. It has a fibrous root system and can grow to a height of 16 inches. Henbit’s distinctive flowers are reddish purple in color with darker coloring in spots on lower petals. It flowers in the spring with the flowers arranged in whorls in the upper leaves.