Weeds in Missouri: Identify 5 Different Common Weeds with Pictures

The cluster of dandelions with pretty yellow flowers looks beautiful. But they illustrate the beauty of some weeds.

These plants may look harmless, but they are sly invaders that can destroy your lawn.

So it would help if you never allowed weeds to get control of your garden.

This article has compiled a list of some of the most common weeds in Missouri lawns. Know their key traits, spot them immediately, and eliminate them.

Why Should You Eradicate Weeds?

Weeds are zombies that suck the nutrients they require to survive, ending up with an overwhelmed and exhausted turf. So your garden can turn lifeless in no time. 

If weeds are not controlled or prevented within time, they can go out of control, damaging all your desirable plants. 

The best defense is to maintain a healthy lawn by proper fertilization and mowing so that these invaders don’t get a weak spot to rule over.

5 Common Weeds in Missouri Lawns with Pictures

Here we have discussed all the five common weeds in Missouri lawns, allowing you to recognize each of them and get them out from ruining your lawn.

1. Bindweed

Family Convolvulaceae
Common NamesField bindweed, Morning glory, Creeping jenny, European bindweed, Small-flowered morning glory, Lesser bindweed, Small bindweed, and White convolvulus.

This weed is attractive yet aggressive and invasive that can choke a healthy growing garden. Bindweeds are perennial weeds that can climb high by twining themselves around other plants or trees.

They are the nemesis of gardeners due to their exceptional regrowth abilities and extended life cycle.

So you will need to execute a long-term maintenance program if you see these weeds producing seeds in your yard.

Bindweed is of two types – hedge bindweed and field bindweed. Among these two, field bindweeds are less aggressive and expansive.

Eventually, they are a bit easier to control than hedge bindweed.

How do you Identify it?

You can identify bindweed by looking at these three things –

  • Flowers: This perennial weed blooms with small, pinkish-white flowers. Although they look pretty, the weed can throttle the propagation of other plants and flowers.
  • Arrow-shaped leaves: Looking at their arrowhead-shaped leaves, you can differentiate between bindweeds and your desirable plants. They are about 4 to 6cm long, and lobes point away from the base’s petioles. So keep your eyes out for uniquely shaped leaves and bracts.
  • Roots: These invasive weeds are also characterized by long, lateral roots that expand without end.

Pulling out these weeds by the roots might be useless because of their size and length. So one of the best ways to tackle the bindweed is by defending the perimeter.

2. Dandelions

Family Asteraceae
Common NamesCankerwort, Lion’s-tooth, Irish daisy, Monk’s head, Puffball, Blowball, Priest’s-crown, Earth nail, Yellow-gowan.

Dandelions are characterized as broadleaf weed that extends up to 11000 feet. This perennial weed crops up from seed and thrives in potassium- and nitrogen-rich soils.

Moreover, they love soils with poor organic matter decay or low calcium. But they don’t propagate well in phosphorus-rich soils.

This perennial weed features a deep taproot system that makes it difficult to eliminate once it becomes established. And they reproduce via seed production. 

How do you Identify it?

Dandelion stems aren’t visible. Instead, they have either hairless or sparsely hairy leaves with serrated edges. Moreover, they form rosette clusters at the plant’s base.

Bright yellow flowers bloom nearly all year round on a leafless, hollow stalk of almost 3 to 12 inches.

You will see tiny, one-seeded, brown fruits collectively forming a greyish, spherical, and fuzzy fruit head. And each fruit consists of a seed attached to a hairy pappus through a small, lean stalk.

However, the taproot and flower stalks exude a milky fluid while broken or cut.

Uproot, chop, and bury are three steps to follow, one after another, to control dandelion growth. First, ensure that tillage is deep enough to rip the root off 4 inches beneath the soil surface.

3. Chicory

Family Asteraceae
Common NamesBlue sailors, Blue weed, Blue daisy, Cornflower, Coffeewood, Horseweed, Hendibeh, Succor, Ragged sailors, Wild endive, Witloof, and Wild bachelor’s buttons.

Chicory stands out in the yard with its beautiful lavender or blue flower. This perennial herbaceous weed looks skinny and branching.

And they usually germinate alone in open fields or gravel areas. But, fascinatingly, you will see the flowers opening on a bright sunny day.

However, this beautiful chicory weed is also recognized as a potential healing plant for centuries. They are even used as additives and coffee substitutes.

How Do You Identify It?

Chicory has larger, rough-haired, and alternate leaves at the bottom. The basal leaves can grow up to 2 to 12 cm wide and 10 to 20 cm long. 

Alternatively, the upper leaves are stalkless, about 3 to 7 cm long. However, they show irregularly lobed and toothed margins. And rosette leaves are rough and hairy.

This tall plant exhibits purple flowers appearing in clusters at the stem nodes or leaf axils. 

Fruits have three-chambered, egg-shaped capsules that bear the seeds. They are kidney-shaped, flattened, dark brown, and small. Besides, they have irregular hairs on the stems and leaves. 

However, roots, leaves, and flowers are edible.

You can easily control this weed with post-emergent herbicide treatment. However, deep tillage can be effective. Another feasible way to control is mowing and cutting.

Also Read: Weeds in Houston: Identify 7 Common Weeds with Pictures

4. Creeping Bellflower

Creeping Bellflower
Common NamesRampion bellflower, Creeping bellflower, Garden harebell, Creeping campanula, Rover bellflower, Purple bell, and Garden bluebell.

Gardeners of Missouri are well-aware of how the beautiful lavender-blue flowers can dupe them by aggressively invading gardens or lawns. 

They are nearly impossible to remove once established. Even the tiniest root fragment can give rise to new plants.

Creeping bellflowers can spread rapidly, with each stem producing about 15,000 seeds. Moreover, they are resistant to certain herbicides.

How Do You Identify It?

This weed features alternate and basal leaves. However, the lower stem and basal leaves are heart-shaped, up to 4 inches long. 

Besides being coarsely toothed, leaves have a rough texture pointing at the tip. Moreover, the stem ranges from purple to green in color. 

Flowers emerge at the top of this weed, each nearly an inch long, nodding slightly. Plus, they exhibit five-pointed, bell-shaped lobes with hairy edges. The color ranges from purple and blue to blue-violet. 

Apart from this, round-capsule fruits germinate, bearing 150 seeds, nearly 1/3-inch in diameter.

5. Thistle

Family Asteraceae
Common NamesCanadian thistle, California thistle, Lettuce from the hell thistle, Cursed thistle, Corn thistle, Field thistle, and Hard thistle.

Canadian thistle takes advantage of the landscapes where reduced tillage is performed.

Their root system can reach six feet down and over fifteen feet from the soil, making them difficult to control. However, besides seeds, this weed can expand substantially through budding from roots.

How Do You Identify It?

Canadian thistles have tall, slender, grooved stems with no or a few hairs, branched at the top. However, you will see mature plants growing in patches or groups.

They have nearly lance-shaped, alternate leaves with spiny edges, uneven lobes, and no petiole.

Flowers usually bloom from June to August, and each stem has multiple flowers, ranging from pink to purple. Plus, flowers are encircled by bracts with no spines.

Thistles have brown, flat fruits of 1/10 inch long that harbor straight or curved seeds. Moreover, they have a bump in the center and a cut-off tip. And the seeds get dispersed through a feathery pappus.

Also Read: How to Get Rid of Canada Thistle | Complete Guide

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Weeds?

The best way to remove weeds is by pulling manually. However, if these invaders have choked up most lawn areas, go for chemical treatment.

  • Post-emergent herbicides kill weeds after growth
  • The pre-emergent herbicide kills the seeds before germination.


Weeds always search for a weak, barren spot in the yard to gain access. So always keep your eyes out to spot these invaders early before they gain a beachhead.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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