Georgia has numerous weeds. These weeds can appear out of nowhere and become a nuisance in your yard or garden. Some weeds are vines, trees and plants that have the ability to smother vegetation, sidewalks, ditches and forest areas. Georgia offers information to residents to help stop weeds from taking over your property or growing in unwanted areas. Learn to identify some of the weeds that grow in Georgia.
The giant reed is present throughout Georgia. It can grow up to 20 feet high. This type of weed looks similar to a corn stalk with a hollow stem that has elongated leaves about 1 to 2 inches wide. You are likely to see giant reeds in stream banks, ditches, lake shores or wet damp areas. This invasive weed has the ability to slow down or stop native vegetation. In addition, wildlife may move to different habitats if giant reeds start to sprout.
Cogongrass is a weed that is found in South Georgia. The United States government lists the cogongrass on the List of Federal Noxious Weeds. An aggressive weed, it can invade large areas by forming thick mats across vegetation. The wind can spread the seeds or it can travel through rhizomes. In addition, the weed is combustible and may be a fire hazard. This grass-like weed grows up to 3 feet high. It has a silky or cotton-like look with leaves with coarse ends and fuzzy flower panicles.
Japanese honeysuckle is an evergreen vine with fragrant tube-like pale pink or yellow flowers, green berries and 1 to 2 1/2 inch oval leaves. This type of weed appears throughout Georgia and grows more than 80 feet tall. It has the ability to take over wetlands, roadsides and the floors of the forest. In addition, it creates think mats that covers large areas.
Japanese Climbing Fern
The Georgia Coast is home to the Japanese climbing fern. This fern is a vine that can grow up to 90 feet tall. It has 3- to 6-inch triangle-shaped leaves, and thin vines. The Japanese climbing fern typically takes over ditches, roadsides and some natural areas. It has the ability to create thick mats that will cover shrubs, brushes and the ground. This can destroy the seedlings of trees and vegetation.
You may see the tallow tree frequently across South Georgia. It is a deciduous tree that grows up to 60 feet high. It features pointy leaves that resemble hearts, yellow flowers hanging on spikes and fruits along the edges of the branches. This invasive species takes over damp and wet areas such as ditches and stream banks. However, you can also find it in dry regions. The seeds of the tallow tree travel by water or birds. In addition, it can shift native Georgia vegetation and change the soil environment.
Goosegrass thrives in damp, well-lit environments. It is a weed that grows on golf courses, tees and athletic fields. This type of weed resembles a wheel with a white mid-point. Additionally, it has two to six spikes at the upper section of the stem. Other names for goosegrass include wiregrass, crabgrass and bullgrass.
Italian ryegrass is an annual grassy weed that stands straight in the air. It grows in the winter and springtime. It thrives in open fields, pastures, vineyards, crop fields and orchards. This type of weed can reach about 3 feet tall. This weed features flat, shiny leaf blades that can be nearly 10 inches in length. Another name for an Italian ryegrass is an annual ryegrass.
Prickly sida can be found in the southeast region of the United States including Georgia. It has heart-shaped leaves with nicks along the edges and a hairy stem. Some places where you can find prickly sida include cotton crops, sweet corn crops and soybeans. It thrives in damp soil with some sunlight and grows up to 2 feet tall.
- Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council: Invasive Weeds in Georgia
- National Park Services: Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working Group -- Least Wanted -- Giant Reed
- Weed Science: Group K1/3 Resistant Goosegrass -- USA -- Georgia
- North Carolina State University: Goosegrass
- FMC Agricultural Products: Goosegrass
- Weed Science: Multiple Resistant Italian Ryegrass (Lolium Multiflorum) Resistance to Herbicides in Groups A/1 and B/2 -- USA -- Georgia
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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