Preen, the pre-emergent products that stop garden weeds from growing for three to six months per application, has announced its “10 Most Unwanted Weeds,” complete with FBI-style “wanted” posters with mug shots, descriptions and control notes. The complete “line-up” can be found at www.mostunwantedweeds.com. The following descriptions are excerpts from the posters.
Information in this piece provided by Preen.
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Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) – Gets its street name for its habit of twining itself around other plants or anything else nearby. Its taproot can grow a whopping 10 feet deep, with lateral roots that can spread out 30 feet. Produces 30 to 300 seeds per plant per season. Seeds are viable for up to 50 years.
Chickweed, common (Stellaria media) – A petite but vigorous weed that grows densely, low to the ground, often creating a thick springy green mat. Produces up to 15,000 seeds, viable for decades.
Purslane, common (Portulaca oleracea) – Difficult to eradicate once established, it can quickly overwhelm a garden or landscape bed. It spreads rapidly by seed and re-roots from loose bits when pulled or dug out. Produces up to 240,000 seeds, viable 30 to 40 years.
Crabgrass, hairy (Digitaria sanguinalis) – Aggressive and difficult to eradicate, crabgrass spreads by seeds and also by stem nodes that can root and produce new stems wherever a stem touches soil. It thrives in hot moist conditions. Drought hardly fazes it. It produces up to 150,000 seeds, viable for three years.
· Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – Its taproot is difficult to pull and its plumed seeds ride the wind. Classic dandelion puffballs each deliver 50 to 170 seeds, which can stay aloft on a four-mph breeze. One plant yields up to 15,000 seeds per season. Just one acre infested with dandelions can launch more than 240 million airborne seeds per year. Viable up to five years.
Lambsquarters, common (Chenopodium album) – Incredibly adaptable, it’s a nuisance in gardens as far north as Greenland. Produces up to 72,000 seeds, viable for 20 years or more.
Pigweed, redroot (Amaranthus retroflexus) – Grows so quickly and uses water so efficiently it muscles out bedmates. Typically produces up to 150,000 seeds. Hyper-achievers allegedly pump out nearly one million seeds per plant per year. Viable for 10 years or more.
Plantain (Plantago major) – Its dense clumps compete with existing plants. Produces up to 20,000 seeds, and can re-grow from root crowns. Viable up to 60 years.
Spotted Spurge (Chamaesyce maculata) – Its central taproot can grow to two-feet deep. A thick milky sap oozes from broken stems and leaves. Beware: the sap is caustic and can cause severe, painful inflammation and blistering to skin, mouth, nose and eyes. It can be toxic to animals and harbor stinging ants. One plant produces up to 3,000 seeds. Viable for years, the exact duration unknown.
Woodsorrel, creeping (Oxalis corniculata) – Competitive and aggressive, it engages in "seed warfare,” as mature pods rupture to spew seeds up to 10 feet away. Produces up to 5,000 seeds, scientists don't yet know the seed lifespan.