Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weed of The Week

I will be starting a weekly series that covers all of the problem weeds that we deal with in the rocky mountain region. These weeds will include both broad leaf and grassy types of weed species. Technically a weed is a plant that is that is out of place or inconsistent with the desired species.

Of all weeds we deal with on the golf course the Dandelion is one of the most prolific seed producers that contributes to it’s ability to show up most anywhere in the landscape. With that said it is also one of the easiest to control with herbicides that are either pre-emergent or post-emergently applied.

Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion is a widely distributed perennial weed. The mature plant arises from a strong, deep taproot that exudes a milky substance when cut. There is no visible stem. Leaves are sparsely hairy or without hairs, have deeply serrated margins, and are clustered in a rosette at the base of the plant. Dandelion can reproduce from seed almost year-round or it can regrow from its taproot. Bright yellow flower heads, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) across, consist of petal-like ray flowers and are borne singly on the tip of a hollow stalk, 3 to 12 inches (7.5 - 30 cm) long. Seeds are enclosed singly within fruiting bodies and are attached to a long slender stalk that terminates in a parachute-like structure called a pappus. Seeds are transported in the wind.