Lawn Burweed
Spurweed - Carpet Burweed - Field Burweed - Stickerweed
Soliva sessilis Ruiz & Pavon
Asteraceae (Sunflower) Family

Nothing designates spring’s arrival like walking barefoot on a lawn of lush, green grass. This pleasant experience can often turn into a painful, sticky situation with the presence of lawn burweed. Lawn burweed is a winter annual that germinates throughout thin turf in the fall months as temperatures cool. It remains small and inconspicuous during the cold winter months. However, as temperatures warm in the early spring, it initiates a period of rapid growth and begins to form spine-tipped burs in the leaf axils. At first glance the plant resembles corn speedwell. A very significant difference is burweed has white flowers and corn speedwell has blue.

 

The seed is contained within the hooked bur. This is a low-growing, freely branched winter annual. In the spring the plant may attain an overall diameter of 6 inches and a height of 2 to 4 inches. The most prominent identifying characteristic of the plant is its spine-tipped burs which are often hard to see but easily felt.

The leaves are opposite, sparsely hairy and twice divided into narrow segments or lobes. Each leaf is approximately 1/2 to 1-1/2 inch wide.

The flowers are small and white (1/4 inch or less in width), very inconspicuous and appears in the spring (left).

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