Weed Identification Chart Yellow Flowers
Flower Name and Description Seedling Yellow Trefoil (Trifolium dubium)
One of several low-growing or prostrate species looking like a small yellow clover. Trefoil leaves, small heads of clusters of yellow pea-flowers. Only an annual. Similar species include other Trefoils and Medicks (Medicago).
A short annual, usually under a foot high, with a dense flat cluster of tiny yellow flowers on an unbranched stem, growing longer as the seeds ripen. Several similar species, differring in the shape of the leaves of the basal rosette and the shape of the long seed pods.
Yellow Oxalis, Sleeping Beauty (Oxalis corniculata)
A fairly common garden weed that ought to be welcome for its ability to cover the ground in interesting reddish leaves and bright yellow trumpet flowers. Spreads rapidly, grows anywhere - I even found a seedling in the crack between a window and its frame! Very difficult to get rid of, with tiny tubers and lots of seeds.
Yellow Pimpernel (Lysimachia nemorum)
Related to the familiar Scarlet Pimpernel, but closer in appearance to Creeping Jenny. Long, loose, fleshy pinkish stems with bright green leaves and yellow flowers on longish stalks in the leaf axils. Usually a weed of damp and shady woods.
Silverweed (Potentilla anserina)
A robust creeping perennial, forming dense mats. Toothed pinnate leaves covered in soft hairs, so it shines with a silvery-grey look. Flowers like large buttercups, but not shiny, sturdier and more upright. Also spreads by runners, rooting at the nodes, and happy to fight it out with grass.
Groundsel (Senecio sylvaticus)
An annual, related to Ragwort, but with very insignificant flowers, consisting only of disc florets, without any 'petals', usually borne in small clusters. Rubbery-looking small serrated-edged leaves. Anything from an inch to a foot high. Fluffy seed heads to spread the seed all over your garden.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
A familiar perennial, spreading around the parent plant by means of its dividing taproot, and far and wide by means of its fluffy seeds. Impossible to eradicate, as any bit of root left in will grow a new set of leaves. Basically an attractive plant with plenty of neat bright yellow flowers and edible leaves. Seed heads attractive to Bullfinches, and the plant does have medicinal uses.
Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Most likely to be a pest in damp or acid soils. Large yellow flowers, rough leaves, creeping stems that root at every node. Spreads quickly, the runners criss-crossing and forming dense mats. Can be dealt with methodically by digging up each plant, which is fairly easily done as they are shallow-rooted, but removing the source of all new plants or stolons seems impossible.
Cat's-ears and Hawkbits (Hypochoeris and Leontodon)
Several species, easily confused (at least by me), with a basal rosette of long, narrow leaves and a tall branched stem with a single large dandelion-type flower on top of each. Perennials, and a nuisance in lawns.
Prickly Sowthistle (Sonchus asper)
Looks like a cross between a dandelion and a thistle, with thick hollow stems and large prickly leaves. A lush, leafy plant, growing to two feet or more, with a cluster of 1" pale dandelion-like flowers at the top. Annual, with shallow roots, so easily removed.
Common Sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
A plant very similar to the above, also with clusters of light yellow flowers, but the leaves are greyer and flatter and not prickly. Young leaves are more rounded. Both stem and leaves often have a reddish tinge.
Another collection of plants with smaller, more delicate-looking dandelion-type flowers in terminal clusters, and differing from many of the dandelion-type composites in having leafy branched stems, and no milky juice. Leaves are dandelion-like, but with a large terminal lobe. Some are annual, some perennial.
Ragwort (Senecio spp)
Several types of coarse annuals, biennials or perennials, with woody stems 2'-3' high, and clusters of bright yellow daisy-type flowers. Often form large colonies, and sometimes support orange and black striped caterpillars.
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