• Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

    common dandelion

    Weed Control against: Common Dandelion

    A common perennial weed throughout South Africa, it is a weak competitor but can be particularly troublesome in lawns. It is easily spread by the seeds that are blown around by even the slightest breeze, up to several hundred meters from their source. Grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are sparsely covered with short hairs and their distinctive yellow flowers.

    The Dandelion is a common coloniser of disturbed habitats, both from wind blown seeds and seed germination from the seed bank. The seeds remain viable in the seed bank for many years, with one study showing germination after nine years. This species is a somewhat prolific seed producer, with 54 to 172 seeds produced per head, and a single plant can produce more than 5 000 seeds a year.

  • Creeping Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata)

    creeping sorrel

    Weed Control against: Creeping Sorrel

    It is a somewhat delicate-appearing, low-growing, herbaceous plant in the family Oxalidaceae. It has a narrow, creeping stem that readily roots at the nodes. The trifoliate leaves are subdivided into three rounded leaflets and resemble a clover in shape. The fruit is a narrow, cylindrical capsule, 1-2cm long and noteworthy for its explosive discharge of the contained, 1mm long seeds.

    It is a problem on lawns and is considered a troublesome weed due to their perennial survival by means of underground stolons. They can also act as hosts for plant diseases such as various kinds of rust.

  • Lotus (Lotus subbiflorus)

    Lotus subbiflorus small

    Weed Control against: Lotus

    A relative newcomer to our shores, it is widespread in the Western and Eastern Cape where it grows in dense mats in moist places. It causes particular problems in lawns as it can swamp many lawn grasses.

    Lotus subbiflorus is a flowering plant of the pea family Fabaceae. It is a finely hairy annual plant producing sprawling stems with clusters of two to four tiny lemon-yellow pea-type flowers.

  • White Clover (Trifolium repens)

    white clover

    Weed Control against: White Clover

    It is a herbaceous, perennial plant considered a common and widespread weed, especially in lawns where they are unsighly and will replace the grass where they occur. It is low growing, with heads of whitish flowers, often with a tinge of pink or cream that may come on with the aging of the plant.

    The stems function as stolons, so White Clover often forms mats, with the stems creeping as much as 18cm a year, and rooting at the nodes. It is able to grow and provide green cover in poorer soils where turfgrasses do not perform well. Many people consider clover a weed when growing in lawns, in part because the flowers are attractive to bees and thus could create a danger for people with bare feet.

  • Wintergrass (Poa annua)

    wintergrass

    Weed Control against: Wintergrass

    This grass is a relatively small, bright green annual plant that grows throughout the year in damp and shady places, but is particularly noticeable in winter. It can be a troublesome and unsightly weed in gardens and lawns, often found near places such as leaking taps where the soil may be too damp for other species.

    It is in flower all year around except for severe winters. The seeds ripen and are deposited 8 months of the year. The plant grows rapidly from seed, flowering within 6 weeks, seeding and then dying.

  • Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

    yellow nutsedge

    Weed Control against: Yellow Nutsedge

    This weed is often referred to as a grass, but it is in fact an annual or perennial sedge. It reproduces from tubers that are produced in vast numbers underground at the end of the rhizomes. One tuber can produce 1 900 plants and in turn nearly 7 000 tubers. They are serious and competitive weeds, not only because the are widespread, difficult to control and aggressive, but also because they can give off a toxin that can suppress the growth of other plants.

    The plant is extremely difficult to remove completely from lawns and gardens, where it is considered an intrusive weed. This is due to the plant having a stratified and layered root system, with tubers and roots being interconnected to a depth of 36cm or more. The tubers are connected by fragile roots that are prone to snapping when pulled, making the root system difficult to remove intact.

  • Green Kyllinga (Kyllinga brevifolia)

  • Kyllinga brevifolia is a species of sedge known by several common names, including shortleaf spikesedge, green kyllinga, perennial greenhead sedge, and kyllinga weed. It can be found throughout the Western Cape area and is a common threat in lawns countrywide.

    This is a rhizomatous perennial herb growing one to several erect stems which produces tiny inflorescences of a few spikelets each which in total are less than a centimeter long. Pollens are tiny, approximately 20-30 microns in size. It is a common weed in wet areas such as cultivated land, irrigation ditches and domestic lawns.