Hairy bittercress is a winter or summer annual weed (depending on location). Stems can be 3-9 inches long, and the leaves are mostly on the lower portion of the stem in a basal rosette. Leaf margins are deeply lobed. Leaves at the base of the plant are larger than the leaves at the top of the plant. Small hairs can be found at the base of the leaf as well as on the top of the leaf surface. Flowers are small and white. Small round fruits (capsules) develop at the ends of each branch.
Winter annual broadleaf weeds germinate in the fall or winter and grow during any warm weather, which may occur in the winter, but otherwise remain somewhat dormant during the winter. They resume growth and produce seed in the spring and die as temperatures increase in late spring and early summer. They quickly invade thin turf areas especially where there is good soil moisture. Shade may also encourage growth. Many have a prostrate growth habit and are not affected by mowing. A dense, vigorous turf is the best way to reduce the encroachment of winter annual weeds. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.
Growth Season/Life Cycle
summer annual or winter annual weed
upright or rosette
2 - 4 pairs of leaflets arranged alternately
shallowly toothed or with a few lobes
<1/2 - 1 inch