Weed Identification Chart White Flowers
Flower Name and Description Seedling Pearlwort (Sagina)
Several species, some perennial, some annual, all forming tight grassy mats with small green or white flowers in summer. They self-seed yards away from the original plant, into grass, gardens or driveways. The only consolation is that they attract Greenfinches for their seeds.
Hairy Bitter Cress (Cardamine hirsuta)
An elegant little plant, with a lacy basal rosette and little white flowers in clusters. 1" to 1' high, flowers from February on, quickly forming seedpods which explode and send seed in all directions. Can form large mats, and has several generations a year. Shallow rooted, so can be hoed, and flimsy leaves dry quickly if left on the surface. An annual, but difficult to eradicate.
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
The familiar garden weed, usually found in lawns, but also seeding around beds and driveways. A neat rosette of rounded leaves, with a largish white daisy with yellow centre on short stems. The outside of the petals is often tinged with red. Perennial, and spreads to form large mats.
Whitlow Grass (Erophila verna)
A rather feeble version of the more garden-worthy Drabas. A similar basal rosette of pointed, dimpled leaves, with a thin stem to 1-3" high, and a small cluster of little white flowers on top. Similar to Bitter Cress, but the leaves aren't divided and the rosette is always small. February on.
Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
Another plant with clusters of insignificant white flowers on top of slightly hairy straight stems arising from a basal rosette of divided leaves. Like many members of the family, the flower stems grow longer as the seed develops. Recognisable by the heart-shaped seed pods, said to look like an old-fashioned purse.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
One of the commonest weeds, fragile-looking bright green stems and leaves, tiny white flowers. Fairly neat green cushion, creeping. Only an annual, so easily dealt with - or feed it to your pet rabbit.
Very similar to Mouse Ear, but neater and more delicate looking, not so hairy, and more inconspicuous flowers.
Heath Bedstraw (Galium saxatile)
Heath Bedstraw forms a prostrate mat of wiry stems and tiny leaves and creeps over any plant in its way. It's perennial, and roots as it goes, so is difficult to eradicate. There are other Bedstraws that might appear in your garden. They have long straggly stems with loose clusters of tiny white or yellow tubular flowers.
Hairy Tare (Vicia hirsuta)
A flimsy annual, with brittle stems up to a foot or more, tangling into other plants. Pinnate leaves with a tendril on the end, and long spikes of a few tiny dirty white (or pale lilac) pea flowers, followed by short pods with two seeds in. Difficult to get out of your plants, and self-sows everywhere, even in grass.
Clustered Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)
A perennial weed, and like all Cerastiums, best removed from the garden instantly! A tight tuffet of hairy leaves quickly grows into straggly strings with dense clusters of small white flowers on long stalks.
Mayweed (Matricaria or Anthemis)
There are several similar-looking plants with very finely divided ferny leaves and large single white daisy flowers with yellow centres, or just the centres with no petals, usually only 4" or so to around a foot high, mostly with very branching stems. Most of them are only annual, and some might be suitable for a wild or herb garden.
Feverfew (Tanecetum parthenium)
Another daisy-type flower, growing up to about a foot high. Light green leaves like those of a small Chrysanthemum and flowers in clusters. Annual and shallow-rooted, but self-seeds. We used to have this in my childhood garden, and I remember it mainly because it used to attract lots of small black and white ladybirds.
Goose Grass, Sticky Weed (Gallium aparine)
Another weed familiar from childhood, this is the plant that has clinging hairs on its leaf, stem and seeds, so sticks to your clothes. Only an annual, but easily maintains itself by self-sown seedlings. Grows up to 4' by clinging on to other plants or fences.
Meadow Sweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
A tall, coarse perennial, usually inhabiting damp ditches but also found in gardens and lawns. Large leaves, fluffy heads of many tiny white flowers, supposedly sweet-smelling. Could be useful in a border.
Convolvulus, Great Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
A notorious perennial weed, impossible to get rid of. Forms strings of heart-shaped leaves on twining stems, which can work their way up into trees or over hedges. Large white trumpet-shaped flowers in summer. Spreads by means of woody rhizomes which get deep underground, and any tiny bit left in the soil will grow into a new plant in no time.
Blackberry (Rubus spp)
Unwelcome actually in your garden, you might find a place for this woody perennial in a hedge or over a tree for the sake of its berries. Otherwise, don't let it take hold, as it sends up dozens of new shoots which can root at the tips to spread everywhere. Also has a very deep, tough, woody root. And prickles.
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