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Weed Management

WVU Extension Service agents and specialists help people keep their lawns, gardens and pastures weed free. Learn about common weeds in West Virginia.

Browse the Weed Identification Guide

Find quick, safe, effective solutions to nuisance weeds. WVU Extension Service offers expertise and resources to help you rid your lawn and garden of problematic plants.

Weed Identification Guide

American burnweed in a field.

American Burnweed

American burnweed, also known as fireweed, is a fast-growing, annual weed commonly spotted in gardens and fields around West Virginia in late August and early September.

American Burnweed Identification & Growth Habits
Control of American Burnweed
autumn olive

Autumn Olive

One of the most invasive brush species in West Virginia, autumn olive takes water, nutrients and sunlight available for desirable plant species, and may depreciate the productive area of a pasture considerably.

Autumn Olive Problems
Mechanical Controls for Autumn Olive
Chemical Controls for Autumn Olive
buttercups closeup

Bulbous Buttercup

Bulbous buttercup is a perennial weed prevalent in pastures and hayfields, and occasionally, in lawns and gardens. It produces bright yellow flowers with cup-shaped petals glistened by a shiny upper surface when held against sunlight.

Bulbous Buttercup Identification
Controls for Bulbous Buttercup
Canada Thistle flower with bumble bee

Canada Thistle

Despite advances in modern agriculture, thistles continue to enjoy notoriety as one of the most troublesome and difficult weeds to control today.

Identification of Canada Thistle
Controls for Canada Thistle


One of the most prevalent lawn weeds, dandelions have value as a medicinal herb as well as a forage plant for livestock and a pollen source for bees. Manual and chemical controls are most common.

Benefits of Dandelions
Manual Controls for Dandelions
Chemical Controls for Dandelions
Giant Hogweed cloesup by Frank-Schwichtenberg (, „Heracleum mantegazzianum 07“,

Giant Hogweed

Giant hogweed is a short-lived invasive perennial that can grow up to 15 feet tall, producing flowers resembling that of wild carrot, only much larger. The sap of this weed can cause severe, blistery rashes.

ground ivy leaves

Ground Ivy

Ground ivy is a creeping perennial that is sometimes referred to as creeping Charlie, gill-on-the-ground and gill-on-the-hedge.

Ground Ivy Identification
Ground Ivy Control
Hairy Bittercress weed surrounded by dark brown mulch

Hairy Bittercress

Common in West Virginia lawns and gardens, hairy bittercress is a winter annual that grows predominantly in spring but is capable of germinating and growing year-round under suitable environmental conditions.

Benefits of Hairy Bittercress
Controls for Hairy Bittercress


Growing several feet tall, Jimsonweed is characterized by irregularly toothed leaves and funnel-shaped and purplish or white flowers. They produce prickly fruits about 2 inches long with small kidney-shaped seeds, brownish or black in color.

Jimsonweed Identification
Jimsonweed Control
photo identifying perilla mint growing amongst cut tree sections

Perilla Mint

Sometimes known as beefsteak plant, Chinese basil or purple mint, perilla mint isn't a plant that animal usually consume. However, poisoning can occur when more desirable plants are in short supply.

Perilla Mint Identification
Control Perilla Mint
Purple Deadnettle

Purple Deadnettle

Akin to henbit, purple deadnettle is a winter annual that competes with grass to allow summer annual weeds, like crabgrass, to invade. Address issues in the fall to enjoy benefits the following spring.

Purple Deadnettle Control for Lawns
Purple Deadnettle Control for Gardens
Purple Deadnettle Control for Fields
Star-of-Bethlehem bulbs.


Star-of-Bethlehem doesn’t have the distinct smell of wild garlic and can be identified by its slender succulent leaves that have a prominent whitish midrib with round hollow leaves.

Star-of-Bethlehem Identification
Controls for Star-of-Bethlehem
wild parsnip

Wild Parsnips

Wild parsnip is a relative of the cultivated parsnip and can be seen growing in early spring along roadsides, ditches and the perimeter of fields. Avoid this plant due to its toxicity and ability to cause dermatitis.

Wild Parsnip Identification
Cow Parsnip Identification
Weedy Parsnip Management

Weed of the Week – September 5

American burnweed

Did You Know?

Facts about American burnweed:

  • Has several medicinal properties
  • Competes with crops like blueberries and strawberries
  • Has an unpleasant odor when crushed

How to get rid of American burnweed:

  • Remove easily by hand
  • Control through hoeing or cultivation
  • Treat with herbicides

Information by Rakesh Chandran, Ph.D., WVU Extension Service Weed Science Specialist

American Burnweed

Headlines from the IPM Chronicle

Beware of toxic weedy parsnips

Wild parsnips.
Wild parsnip is a relative of the cultivated parsnip and can be seen growing in early spring along roadsides, ditches and the perimeter of fields. Avoid this plant due to its toxicity and ability to cause dermatitis.

Read about Beware of toxic weedy parsnips

Discouraging herbicide-resistant weeds

Herbicide resistent horseweed.
An integrated pest management method employing cultural, mechanical and chemical controls will help delay, or avoid, the buildup of herbicide-resistant weeds. Whenever feasible, mechanical or other non-chemical methods should be implemented to control weeds.

Read about Discouraging herbicide-resistant weeds

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