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Oxalis

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Leaves, alternate, divided into three partly-folded, deeply cut, heart-shaped lobes. Foliage with sour, acrid taste. Flowers, bright yellow, with five petals, on stalk bent below the fruit attached to a common point. Fruit a narrow “okra-like”capsule. In addition to being an unsightly weed, this plant has been known to harbor pests such as whiteflies and spider mites.

Oxalis has two properties that make it particularly problematical. One is the vigorous network of bulbs that it develops, rendering ineffective, hand or mechanical weeding. Secondly, while most perennial weeds are active during the summer, the primary growing season for Oxalis is the winter.

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Speedwell

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There are several types of speedwell, all characterized by small, lobed, and numerous leaves, and by tiny white or purple flowers. The scallop-edged leaves are paired, growing opposite each other. Heart-shaped seed pods grow on the stems below the flowers

Speedwells are among the earliest of lawn weeds to appear, greening up as early as late winter. Most are characterized by creeping stems that root at the nodes. Some show an erect growth habit as they mature. They all thrive in cool, moist soils where turf has thinned.

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Wild Violet

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Wild violet is a winter perennial, growing 2 – 5 inches tall. It can have a tap root or a fibrous root system, and also can produce rooting stolons and rhizomes. The leaves can vary but usually are heart shaped, on long petioles with scalloped to shallow rounded margins.

The flowers of wild violet range from white to blue to purple and appear from March to June. Wild violet flowers are pansy-like with three lower petals and two lateral petals on long single flower stalks.

Wild violets are found throughout the United States, except for the Rocky Mountains. Wild violets are more common where they are sold as ornamental ground covers.

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