What are some identifiable characteristics of broadleaf weeds?


Quick Answer

Broadleaf weeds generally have wider leaves with netlike veination. They usually grow from dicot seeds, with the seedling pushing the two halves of the seed through the ground and the cotyledons becoming the first leaves. Once the plant develops its first true leaves, it normally has a leaf stem.

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Full Answer

Botanists classify weeds as either grasslike or broadleaf. Grasslike weeds are often more difficult to control in lawns as they have the same characteristics as the grass itself. For broadleaf weeds, manufacturers offer herbicides specifically formulated to kill the weed without injuring the grass. Because of the specific nature of these herbicides, they are also less likely to affect other organisms in the food web, including earthworms.

The broadleaf weeds a gardener encounters vary by location, but common examples include ragweed, shepherd's purse, cockleburs and lambs quarters. Gardeners may choose a specific herbicide for the individual type of broadleaf weed or a general herbicide that works with most broadleafs.

Many botanical keys use characteristics of mature plants, including the fully developed leaf and flower to identify the weed. Unfortunately, in many cases, broadleaf weeds become more difficult to manage as they mature, making it essential for growers to be able to make the identification early in the plant's life cycle to choose an appropriate eradication process.

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