Lawn Burrweed

Description

Lawn burrweed, also known as spurweed, is a very low-growing winter annual weed that closely resembles parsley-piert and knawel. It is freely branched and usually does not root at the nodes. The leaves are oppositely arranged and highly divided into little leaf segments. Flowers are small (14 inch or less), broad, and inconspicuous. The seeds have sharp spines, hence the common name. Lawn burrweed is commonly found in turfgrass systems. Infestations are increasing in North Carolina, particularly in the southern Coastal Plain and Piedmont.

Cultural Control

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.

Chemical Control

Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
mesotrione, MOA 27 (4 SC) (Tenacity) 0.092 to 0.183 fl oz 4 to 8 fl oz 0.125 to 0.25
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.
Postemergence Control
Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
[triclopyr + clopyralid], MOA 4 + 4 (3 SL) (various brands) 0.37 to 0.74 fl oz 1 to 2 pt 0.28 to 0.56
+
0.09 to 0.19
Precaution and Remarks: Do not apply to home lawns. May be used on centipedegrass, bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, tall fescue, creeping red fescue, chewing fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass. Repeat treatment may be necessary for prostrate spurge and wild violet. Quali-Pro formulation: maintain 0.5 inch height for warm season turf. Do not apply to bermudagrass sod farms. Wait 3 weeks to reseed. Do not use grass clippings for compost or mulch.
[MCPA ester + triclopyr ester + dicamba], MOA 4 + 4 + 4 (3.6 EC) (various brands) 0.91 to 1.29 fl oz 2.5 to 3.5 pt 1.125 to 1.575
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to home lawns by a commercial applicator. Not for use on turf grown for resale or other commercial use as sod or seed production. Use on perennial bluegrass, ryegrass, fescue species, bentgrass (excluding greens and tees), bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and bahiagrass. Do not apply to seedling grasses until well established. Wait 3 to 4 weeks after application to seed.​
[MCPA amine + triclopyr amine + dicamba], MOA 4 + 4 + 4 (4.56 L) (various brands) 0.73 to 1.1 fl oz 2 to 3 pt 1.14 to 1.71
Precaution and Remarks:
[MCPA amine + fluroxypyr ester + triclopyr amine], MOA 4 + 4 + 4 (3.41 L) (Battleship III) 0.37 to 1.47 fl oz 1 to 4 pt 0.42625 to 1.705
Precaution and Remarks: Apply by a commercial applicator to residential, industrial, and institutional lawns, sod farms, parks, cemeteries, athletic fields, roadsides, and golf courses excluding greens and tees. May apply to bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fescue species, bahiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass, and zoysiagrass. Do not spray on warm season turf less than 0.5 inch and do not exceed 3 pints per acre. Generally apply 3 to 4 pints per acre except on fairway bentgrass, which can only tolerate 2 pints per acre. Wait 3 to 4 weeks after application to reseed. Check label for spray adjuvant recommendation.​
carfentrazone-ethyl, MOA 14 (1.9 EW) (various brands) 0.0126 to 0.048 fl oz 0.55 to 2.1 fl oz 0.008 to 0.031
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to bahiagrass, bermudagrass, buffalograss, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and bentgrass. To expand the weed spectrum and extend control of the weeds listed here and on the label, carfentrazone-ethyl can be tank mixed with the entire range of phenoxy products—amines, esters, and other salts—and is also compatible with dicamba, atrazine, glyphosate, glufosinate, clopyralid, triclopyr, and MSMA. When applied alone, add 0.12 to 0.25% nonionic surfactant.​
[carfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (2.2 EC) (Speed Zone) 0.75 to 1.8 fl oz 2 to 5 pt 0.55 to 1.375
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on annual and perennial bluegrass, annual and perennial ryegrass, tall and fine fescue, creeping and colonial bentgrass, common and hybrid bermudagrass, and zoysiagrass. For use in ornamental turf, golf courses, lawns, sod farms, cemeteries, and parks. Optimum results when applied when temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees F but may be applied up to 90 degrees F. Lower rates may be used in cooler weather. Rainfast within 3 hr and may reseed after 2 week. May apply 3 to 4 wk after sodding, sprigging, or plugging. Also may be used on bahiagrass, buffalograss, St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, and kikuyugrass. May reseed after 1 week.​
[carfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (0.81 EC) (Speed Zone Southern) 0.55 to 2.2 fl oz 1.5 to 6 pt 0.1519 to 0.6075
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on annual and perennial bluegrass, annual and perennial ryegrass, tall and fine fescue, creeping and colonial bentgrass, common and hybrid bermudagrass, and zoysiagrass. For use in ornamental turf, golf courses, lawns, sod farms, cemeteries, and parks. Optimum results when applied when temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees F but may be applied up to 90 degrees F. Lower rates may be used in cooler weather. Rainfast within 3 hr and may reseed after 2 week. May apply 3 to 4 wk after sodding, sprigging, or plugging. Also may be used on bahiagrass, buffalograss, St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, and kikuyugrass. May reseed after 1 week.​
[carfentrazone + MCPA ester + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (2.91 EC) (Power Zone) 0.75 to 2.2 fl oz 2 to 6 pt 0.7275 to 2.1825
Precaution and Remarks: Same precautions and turf uses as [carfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + MCPP + dicamba] 2.2 EC except cannot be applied to creeping and colonial bentgrass.
penoxsulam + sulfentrazone + 2,4-D + dicamba (Avenue South) 1.0 to 2.2 fl oz 2.7 to 6 pt 0.271 to 0.602
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on established Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass, tall fescue, common and hybrid bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and seashore paspalum. Do not apply more than 2.7 pints per acre on fescue or perennial ryegrass unless turf injury can be tolerated. Do not apply more than 3.5 pints per acre on St. Augustinegrass unless injury, discoloration, stunting, and thinning can be tolerated.
[sulfentrazone + 2,4-D amine + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (2.18 SL) (Surge) 0.92 to 1.84 fl oz 2.5 to 5 pt 0.68 to 1.36
Precaution and Remarks: Apply 2.5 to 3.25 pints per acre on warm season turf including bermudagrass species, zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, and buffalograss. Apply 3.25 to 4 pints per acre on cool season turf including species of bluegrass, ryegrass, fescue, and bentgrass (excluding greens and tees). 4 to 5 pints per acre needed to control corn speedwell and wild violet. Turf areas include residential, ornamental, institutional, and sod farms. Apply to grass seedlings after second mowing. Apply to sodded, sprigged, or plugged areas 3 to 4 weeks after operations. Treated areas may be reseeded 3 weeks after application.​
[triclopyr ester + sulfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + dicamba], MOA 4 + 14 + 4 + 4 (2.51 EC) (Tzone SE) 0.75 to 1.5 fl oz 2 to 4 pt 0.628 to 1.26
Precaution and Remarks: Apply 2 to 2.25 pints per acre on fully dormant bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and bahiagrass. Apply 3.25 to 4 pints per acre on annual and perennial bluegrass and ryegrass, and tall, red, and fine fescue. Rainfast within 3 hours. Approved turf areas include residential, ornamental, institutional, noncropland, and sod farms. Apply to grass seedlings after the second or third mowing. Apply to sodded, sprigged, or plugged areas 3 to 4 weeks after operations. Treated areas may be reseeded 3 weeks after application.​

Species Data

  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • winter annual weed
  • GROWTH HABIT
    • prostrate, spreading
  • LEAFLET NUMBER
    • one
  • LEAF MARGIN
    • three-lobed with each lobe again divided into lobes
  • LEAF HAIRS
    • upper/lower surface; sparsely hairy
  • LEAF / LEAFLET SHAPE
    • heart/kidney/spade
  • LEAF WIDTH
    • <12 inch
  • LEAF VENATION
    • palmate
  • LEAF ARRANGEMENT
  • ROOT TYPE
    • fibrous
  • FLOWER COLOR
    • inconspicuous
Lawn burrweed growth habit.Figure 1. Lawn burrweed growth habit.Lawn burrweed growth habit.Figure 2. Lawn burrweed growth habit.Lawn burrweed growth habit.Figure 3. Lawn burrweed growth habit.Lawn burrweed growth habit.Figure 4. Lawn burrweed growth habit.Lawn burrweed leaf arrangement.Figure 5. Lawn burrweed leaf arrangement.

Written By

Photo of Charles Peacock, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Charles PeacockProfessor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist (919) 515-7615 charles_peacock@ncsu.eduCrop & Soil Sciences - NC State University
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This Extension factsheet can also be viewed at:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/lawn-burrweed