Common Types of Weeds

Whether they are garden plants or common types of weeds often depends on your point of view. Some plants like summer cypress are attractive but can also be considered weedy if allowed to spread out of control. To help you identify some common types of weeds we wanted to share the following gathered information.

Common Yarrow

Although sometimes planted for flowers, common yarrow can spread invasively in average to poor garden soils. Dig out unwanted plants or smother them with mulch. The stems are covered with grayish hairs with delicate looking feathery, green leaves. Flowers bloom all summer in either white or yellow. Pull, mow, hoe, or cut seedlings. Dig older plants to get the creeping roots. Improving soil fertility discourages yarrow from growing.


A fast growing groundcover for dry, shady spots, goutweed grows where nothing else will. In better soil conditions, it can rapidly take over less vigorous plants. Goutweed leaves are deeply divided and may have with irregular white edges. The white or yellow flowers bloom in June. It tolerates shade and infertile soil, which is frequently characteristic of common types of weeds.

Garlic Mustard

Ther are some types of weeds that can be eaten!The broad, young leaves, white spring blossoms, and summer seedpods of garlic mustard are edible raw or steamed. They are amply named due to their garlic flavor. The garlic scented plant has heart shaped leaves with toothed edges. The small, white flower clusters bloom from midspring through early summer. The weed is commonly found in shady areas of poor, dry soils.

Common Ragweed

Ragweed pollen is the cause of fall sneezing and watery eyes for hay fever sufferers. You can spy the culprit by its fern like, deeply lobed leaves. The flower heads are green spikes that blossom from midsummer to midfall. The seeds are enclosed in a light brown, woody covering with spines along the top. These troublesome common types of weeds are considered noxious in many states and must by law be controlled.


Looking somewhat like chamomile, it is easy to tell the difference by crushing the leaves. Mayweed has a distinctive foul odor while chamomile smells sweet. In fact, mayweed is sometimes called stinking chamomile. Its hairy, fern like flowers are finely divided. Small, daisy like flowers bloom from early summer through midfall. This lovely looking weed adapts to a wide range of soil conditions. It is often mistaken for common yarrow.

Common Milkweed

Commonly found growing in patches, milkweed is spread by creeping underground stems. When its seedpods split open, seeds attached to silky hairs are carried away by the wind to spread even more. The fuzzy, unbranched stems of common milkweed are filled with a milky sap. The deep veined leaves occur in pairs along the stem. Large clusters of fragrant white or pink flowers appear from June to July. It can be confused with hemp dogbane.


Spread fresh mugwort roots out in the sun to dry completely before tossing into your compost bin or you may have a bigger crop of it next season. Another common name for this weed is felon herb. Mugwort has narrow leaves with deep, finger like lobes and silvery undersides that are covered with fuzzy white hairs. Aromatic, yellow green flowers bloom from July to early fall. If only we could get our vegetables to grow as prolific as some common types of weeds do!