Is this a weed?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by platinum, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    A point no one has made is it is a weed if you want it to be. A weed is any plant growing where it is un-wanted. The most beutiful rose bush is considered a weed if it is overgrowing a walkway and needs to be removed. At the same time dandilions wouldn't be considered a weed if the homeowner doesn't mind them
  2. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    That's an excellent point.
    The term weed is a value judgement. A stalk of corn growing in the middle of a yard is a weed and grass growing in a cornfield is also a weed. It's not the plant, it's the context.

    I think this plant's flowers are pretty, especially since they add a lot of color at a time of year (late winter) when there isn't much. Even in areas where purple dead nettle is thick around March, you usually don't see it by June, or maybe it is just not noticeable because the flowers are gone. So, I leave it alone.

    Platinum is asking what it is before he just shoots it with weedkiller. Shows he's thinking about what to do, or not.
  3. platinum

    platinum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    I left it for now. I really dont want to spray unless I need to.

    To some of your points, its not bad looking, its just out of place in the middle of the yard. Like I said, I have some of it in my flowerbeds and I honestly thought it was some groundcover of some sort.
  4. WJC

    WJC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    I have found that I usually have to make 2 apps. a few weeks apart with 3 way to kill off Henbit. I recently sprayed some with Imprelis but still waiting to see how it works. Henbit has been really bad here this year.
  5. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Good for you.
    It may or may not be a problem, but it's good to see people thinking about it before they use weedkiller on everything.
    As I said, I think in the lawn, it may die back to where you don't notice in in warmer weather. In the flowerbed, in may be more of a problem, or if you like it. it could be a nice groundcover obtained for free!
    I'm pretty sure the purple flowers will disappear when it warms up.
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I refer to a book published by Acres U.S.A. called "Weeds-control without poisons"

    Written by Charles Walters.

    I won't write it verbatum as the answer is a couple pages long

    For Henbit, bindweed sp, morning glory etc.

    -a typical reflector of an improper decay of organic matter and excess accumulation of heavy soil metals...tends to flourish more in an eroded low humus soil which cannot support corrective decay systems for soil restoration....low calcium, phosphorus and pH are benchmarks...correct the soil limitations through pH mangement. No herbicide chemical or fertililizer material can replace good soil management...phenoxy herbicides are not totally effective in killing all of the rhizomes.

    I hope this helps. I don't like to answer questions like this, as I tend to get flamed.

    We need to end our reliance on pesticides.
  7. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    By the way, Thank-you for the question. Henbit has been popping up on one of my 95 unit hoa sites.

    You have forced me to research a solution. There is a total pesticide ban in the city in which this property is located.

    The entire site was blasted out of the side of a granite mountain north east of Vancouver. Fill was brought in.
    Some of what the developer calls soil fill here, is really just sand and terrible subsoils.

    Here's what the developer does....people don't walk the landscape or even usually know alot about what is out there.....they see plants and turf grass.

    Make the kitchen look good for a quick sale and the landscape will sell itself, until a couple years down the road when the inferior installations and problems starts to show up.

    Nice view. You can see a couple hundred miles south towards Seattle, Mount Baker, Vancouver Island...180 degrees at least

    $650,000 for a condo. So, you know the kitchen looks good.
  8. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Dr. NewEarth,
    Thanks for the reference to weed control without pesticides.

    One comment, though. I don't think the plant in question is henbit. I refer you to the following link:

    According to this link, purple dead nettle has triangular, less deeply lobed leaves, while henbit has more rounded, more deeply lobed leaves. There is also a distinction about the growth pattern of leaves from the petiole.

    Looking at the photos from the OP, it is pretty clear to me the leaves are largely triangular and not deeply lobed. For my money, the OP has Purple dead nettle, not henbit.
  9. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Hello dboyd351,
    Thanks for the link. I put it into my favorites.
    I believe you are right about the weed family judging by the leaves.
    The flowers differ a bit from what the OP and myself have,
    thus another poster considering it to be henbit.

    The leaves are a giveaway though and the book I talked about in an earlier post, says there are variations to the flowers.

    I looked in the Noxious weeds/invasive plants of B.C. publication put out by our agriculture department. It shows flowers similar to your link. Good.

    This is the only hoa site that I have ever had this on. I wonder if it is because we are so
    high up the mountains at that location that it gets that type of flower?

    Henbit, from the government noxious weed booklet, appears more like Lamium sp. which we some-times call "creeping charlie" up here. It has other names, some of which I can't print here. Very invasive!
    This appears to be in the mint family, and has four sided stems.

    One suggestion I found was to cut back on phosphate fertilizers and till the soil.
    Any-one else?

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