Purple Flower Weed
Purple Flower Weed Identifying and Controlling It
A weed with purple flowers is no doubt a plant that is wonderful to look at. But because it’s a weed, it can be a plant that you don’t want to be among your other plants or grass. For example, we grow grass right in our yards, parks, along the roads, around buildings and other places. And sometimes we decorate these with flowering plants along the edges or in the middle for adornment. But when we see a flowering weed that is not intended to be there, we just want them gone.
The purple flower weed is an umbrella of different families of weeds and they all produce violet/purple flowers though they belong to different weed varieties. But because most of the weeds with purple flowers grow aggressively and reproduce fast while they love to grow on different soil types especially on lawn soil, they can damage the beautiful look of our landscape.
What are the Weeds with Purple Flowers Called?
Some people generally call weeds with purple flowers the “violet weeds” and “purple flower weeds” and the most common of these are growing in our gardens and lawns. Examples are the following:
These purple-bearing weeds can be hard to kill because they can withstand different types of weather and can even go dormant during winter but can become more active growers once spring sets in. Some of them are annual and others are perennial. Annual weeds can only live once a year but their new seeds will germinate during spring. Perennial weeds can live more than a year and can stay alive even under the snow.
Today, we are going to talk about these different kinds of weeds, how to identify them, where they prefer to grow and we will also give you tips on how to control them.
Red Clover Plant (Trifolium pratense)
Type. Biennial plant under the genus Trifolium.
Growth Characteristic: The Red Clover plant produces a single main root and forms nodules that are loaded with nitrogenous fixing bacteria that it uses for its sustenance. These nodules can help enhance the soil because of its nitrogen content. But because this plant spreads its roots under the grass, it also absorbs the nutrients it produces and can grow up to 2 feet tall.
This plant is endemic in many parts of Europe, Siberia, Northern Africa and the Southwest part of Asia. They love the temperate (chilly) climate but also thrive during mild summer. It can also grow in different types of soil although it grows better on clay loam soil.
Identifying Features. There are a lot of varieties under the clover family but these plants are considered weeds to many because they can grow aggressively given the right soil and environmental conditions. And because they are biennial plants, they can creep fast into pastures, yards, and turf for years in a great mass thus they can be hard to control or kill whenever this tall weed with purple flower occupies large spaces.
The flowers of the Red Clover plant can be bright red or purple with a white combination on the center of the flowers. The unique thing about this weed is it doesn’t drop its flowers even when they develop into seeds. So from the weed with purple flowers, these will turn brown due to its seeds.
How to Kill the Red Clover Plant
Cut them out before they bear flowers or before their stem gets harder by regularly mowing them along with the grass. Hand pulling them also works since only the main plant develops the main root system. The Red Clover plant’s roots are not very deep and these are only tap roots. Herbicides for broadleaf will also work well in controlling them and any herbicide that contains 2,4-D, dicamba, and MPP will kill them. The start of winter is the plant’s most vulnerable stage as it readies for its dormancy.
Wild Violet (Viola sororia)
Type: Winter annual and Perennial under the Violaceae family
The wild violet belongs to the Violaceae family and under this family are about 525 species that generally grow in temperate regions so they cover most of the species of the purple flower family. However, this particular weed is not comparable to tall weeds with hard stems, mode of stem elongation, and style of spreading. Its stems are soft and juicy like mustard and though they don’t elongate much, these can multiply fast and they love the damp, fertile soils and can thrive both in shaded and sunny areas.
The wild violet is mostly seen on wide-open ground like parks, lawns, cemeteries, abandoned lots and also on turf areas. And the way it can spread fast is by forming thick rhizomes on its roots which new plants can sprout from. These rhizomes also serve as food storage for the plants.
How to Control/Kill the Wild Violet:
However, when wild violet is already spread in your grass, better to use selective herbicides that kill broadleaf plants and contain triclopyr. You may also need to reapply after a few days to ensure growth prevention. The regular postemergence herbicides may not work on these weeds because of their waxy leaves. Apply the herbicides in spring when these plants are still growing and their leaves are not so waxy.
Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)
Type: Winter Annual
This weed with purple flowers belongs to the mint plant family. It’s a winter annual weed which means it can live even during winter and will be more alive at the onset of spring but then dies in summer. But because it can leave its seeds on the ground, these will sprout again to begin its new life cycle.
The Purple deadnettle weed is also a fast grower and an aggressive invasive kind of weed. Some people like it because accordingly, it can be used for medicinal purposes. But although there are individuals who propagate these plants, they are still considered weeds by commercial landscapers and also by homeowners who manage lawns and turf.
How to Control or Kill the Purple Deadnettle
Henbit Weed (Lamium amplexicaule)
Type: Winter Annual
The Henbit is a common winter annual broadleaf weed and a cousin of the Purple deadnettle in the mint family. It is also widely distributed in many parts of Europe and the Northern part of America and is also a fast grower and an aggressive grass crawler. While it is sometimes mistaken to be the Purple deadnettle due to its pink and purple flowers, its stems are shaped four-sided and sparsely hairy so people usually think these are the type of prickly weeds with purple flowers.
How to Control or Kill the Henbit Weed
Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis Violacea)
This herb also produces some of the most beautiful flowers among the common purple flowering weeds. It also covers different species and produces flowers of different colors. It’s a perennial herb which means it can live more than a year and undergoes a resting period after its active reproductive stage usually during winter. Typically mistaken as clover whereas the clover has 3 petals, this weed’s flowers have five. The leaves of the clover are oval while the Wood Sorrel’s leaves are heart-shaped.
The Violet Wood Sorrel can grow up to 6 inches tall and can both thrive in shades and under full sunny areas. And one of the unique characteristics of this weed is it folded its leaves once darkness sets in and unfolds it when the sun comes up to catch up the heat.
How to Control or Kill the Violet Wood Sorrel
Creeping Charlie (Glecoma hederacea)
The Creeping Charlie weed is also a member of the mint family like the Purple deadnettle and the Henbit weed. But in spite of being a weed with purple flowers that can be nice to see growing near the roads, this kind of weed is an invasive one and can cover your lawn if you let it grow. It loves to grow in cooler soil with shade but it is also a hardy weed that can tolerate sunlight.
Some people who own vacant properties dont mind Creeping Charlie getting on their ground because aside from it those wonderful purple flowers, the weeds can also serve as ground cover for soil erosion protection and drought. But if it invades your lawn, you have to act as soon as possible as they tend to spread fast and merge with your grass and can make it look bad.
In spring, they become mature and bear flowers that are small and purple-bluish in color. They are also distinguishable by their funnel shapes. This weed can go long distances by creeping slowly and can produce lots of branches. And when each stem come in contact with the soil, it can also form new roots while the main stem continues to grow its rhizomes to support the whole plant with nutrition. You know that this weed is mature based on the size of its rhizomes.
This weed grows like a vine that’s why some people also call it the “ground ivy”. When its vine branches out and covers the ground, they look like a green carpet. But unknown to us, these vines can grow roots on their branches thus this weed can be hard to kill even if you cut out its main stem.
How to Control or Kill Creeping Charlie Weed
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria)
The Lythrum salicaria or Purple Loosestrife has a characteristic of clumping together its stems especially when it matures so you can see their purple flowers appear in bunches. This weed is one of the prickly weeds with purple flowers that can grow as high as 6 feet. Its leaves grow opposite each other and they are heart-shaped and whorled.
The Purple Loosestrife is also a fast grower weed and known for its beautiful flowers and medicinal benefits but can be invasive on lawns because of its very productive life cycle that a single plant can release millions of seeds each year. The danger it can do on grasslands can be severe because it can choke other grasses and rob them of their nutrients and kill them. In this case, the animals relying on grass are also affected.
It can also reproduce vegetatively through shoot growths and these shoots can grow up to 12 inches a year. With its ability to produce millions of seeds and having an active rooting system, this weed should not be taken for granted once it grows on our yards and lawns.
How to Control or Kill the Purple Loosestri
Now that you can identify what the weeds with purple flowers are called, it’s better that you watch out for these weeds in your garden, backyard, turf or ranches because whenever they manage to creep in and spread, they can be hard to control although there are still ways to control them.
When buying herbicides, don’t hesitate to ask the seller about the potential of the product although in most products the weeds it can kill are indicated on the label. Don’t let purple flower weed ruin your garden.