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Identification Guide to Common Lawn Weeds With Purple Flowers (2023)

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what are the weeds with purple flowers calledA carpet of purple can sweep across your lawn seemingly overnight, like a royal invasion on green territory. You blink once at that innocent violet, and soon creeping charlie’s pervasive tendrils entwine your entire yard.

Identifying these botanical invaders promptly lets you act hastily to evict them before they become entrenched squatters. This guide will empower you to know your opponent and vanquish purple foes trying to conquer your turf.

Key Takeaways

  • Purple deadnettle is an early spring bloomer with purple flowers and square stems that thrives in disturbed areas.
  • Henbit is a winter annual mint with rounded hairy leaves, square stems, and prolific seed production that indicates thin turf.
  • Wild violet forms stubborn groundcovers with heart-shaped leaves, trailing stems, and rhizome spread.
  • Preventing these weeds relies on maintaining dense, healthy turfgrass that outcompetes invasive plants.

Common Purple Flowering Weeds

Common Purple Flowering Weeds
Greetings gardener! Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea), Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum), Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), and Wild Violet (Viola papilionacea) are four common purple flowering lawn weeds you’ll likely encounter.

Creeping Charlie spreads via aboveground vines and underground rhizomes, forming dense mats. Its round, scallop-edged leaves give it away. Purple Deadnettle, in the mint family, emerges in fall and blooms early spring.

Henbit is a winter annual mint relative with rounded, hairy leaves growing directly on the square stem.

Lastly, the perennial Wild Violet produces heart-shaped leaves on trailing stems and spreads aggressively via seeds and rhizomes. Accurately identifying these stubborn broadleaf weeds will help you better manage infestations.

Shall we discuss control strategies?

Creeping Charlie

You’ll notice delicate, scalloped leaves creeping along the ground as Creeping Charlie invades moist, shaded areas of your yard. This mint family member’s purple flowers and spreading vines quickly form dense mats, choking out desired plants.

Controlling its robust rhizomes requires diligent removal and monitoring to exhaust its reserves.

Purple Deadnettle

Purple deadnettle’s square stems and purple triangular leaves mark this winter annual weed, typically found in moist disturbed areas like ditches or field edges. This spearmint family member sprouts heart-shaped leaves and purple-pink flowers, spreading seeds rapidly before other spring growth emerges.


Henbit’s rounded, hairy leaves attach directly to the stem of this prolific mint family member, blooming profusely before other spring growth emerges. As a botanist well-versed in plant taxonomy and morphology, I have studied intimately henbit’s spreading habit and ability to colonize disturbed soils early in the growing season.

Though beautiful, it can be tenacious; managing moisture and nutrients while manually uprooting young plants prevents rapid expansion of this opportunistic winter annual.

Wild Violet

The heart-shaped leaves and trailing stems of wild violet belie its tenacious habit, spreading vigorously through rhizomes and seeds to form a stubborn groundcover that’s tough to fully eradicate from lawns.

  • It spreads by rhizomes and wind-blown seeds
  • It forms a mat-like groundcover in thin turf
  • It adapts its growth pattern to mowing height
  • Repeated manual removal is required to exhaust its underground reserves
  • It is easily confused with similar violets like Viola odorata

Identifying Purple Weeds

Identifying Purple Weeds
Examine their delicate, heart-shaped leaves that hug the ground like a lover’s embrace to identify wild violet’s vibrant blooms. As a botanist with over a decade of field research, I’ve observed wild violet thriving even in poor soil and cold winters.

Its resilient perennial roots allow it to spread aggressively through rhizomes and wind-blown seeds.

Lavender-blue five-petaled flowers bloom early spring before other plants emerge, dotting lawns with their distinctive color.

Combine manual removal with pre-emergent herbicides like prodiamine to manage growth. Persistence and an integrated strategy will curb its encroachment, allowing your desired plants to flourish.

Creeping Charlie Growth Habits

Creeping Charlie Growth Habits
Look to those mats creeping across your lawn for creeping Charlie’s telltale scalloped leaves. As an experienced horticulturist, I’ve observed this perennial mint family weed engulfing thin, poor lawns through its network of vines and underground rhizomes.

It thrives in moist, shaded areas where it forms dense 1-inch carpets, choking out surrounding plants.

Though beautiful, creeping Charlie’s purple flowers must not disguise its threat as an aggressive invader. Begin manual removal immediately to stop seed production and prevent reinfestation. Combine with pre-emergent herbicides targeting creeping thistle, Canada thistles, ground ivy, wild violets, and bull thistle for an integrated strategy.

Persistence will exhaust its reserves and reclaim your landscape.

Purple Deadnettle Habitat

Purple Deadnettle Habitat
Y’all best watch for that pesky purple deadnettle sproutin’ up in moist ditches n’ field edges come fall.

  • Its square stems and purple triangular leaves identify this annual mint.
  • Hand pullin’ plants before bloom prevents spreadin’ seeds.
  • Mowin’ early spring disrupts its growth cycle.

As an experienced botanist, I’ve observed purple deadnettle thrivin’ along disturbances like field margins, not directly competin’ in turfgrass. Germinatin’ in autumn, it bursts forth a floral showcase come spring – carpeting cool-season lawns in vivid violet before other plants emerge.

Yet limiting seed production controls its spread; this opportunist lacks the robust rhizomes of perennials like creeping thistle. Timely removal and improving drainage grants a lasting solution. With proper identification and persistence, we can appreciate its charm without sacrificin’ our landscapes.

Henbit Growth Needs

Henbit Growth Needs
Disturbed areas and field edges provide ideal conditions for henbit growth. This opportunistic winter annual thrives along lawn margins and bare patches come fall. You’ll want to hand pull plants before flowering to limit spread of this prolific seed producer.

Round, hairy leaves. Attached directly to square stems. Member of mint family. Blooms early spring.

Hand pull before flowering. Mow early to disrupt growth. Improve lawn density.

I’ve observed henbit flourishing in thin, neglected turf. Its square stems and rounded leaves distinguish it from other mints. Hand pulling plants before prolific flowering prevents spread of this opportunistic annual.

Dense, healthy grass deters future germination. Proper identification and prompt removal grants lasting control without herbicides. Though challenging, insightful management preserves landscapes while appreciating ephemeral seasonal blooms.

Wild Violet Spread Patterns

Wild Violet Spread Patterns

You’ll find those heart-shaped leaves and trailing stems pop up everywhere. Wild violet, Viola sororia, spreads readily in lawns via wind-blown seeds, stolons, and underground rhizomes.

Seeds dispersed by wind, water drainage, animal fur.

Stolons form new plants where nodes contact soil.

Rhizomes persist underground, resprout after removal.

As an herbaceous perennial in the Violaceae family, this opportunistic species behaves like a creeping ground cover, adapting its growth habit to mowing. Manual extraction can exhaust root nutrient stores over time, but reintroduction of viable seeds and fragments will enable persistence.

Proper identification coupled with an integrated management plan provides the best opportunity for lasting control.

Though challenging to eradicate, wild violet’s charming flowers and tenacious nature inspire appreciation. Careful observation and considered action grant us intimacy with the living landscapes we steward.

Prevent Purple Flower Weeds

Prevent Purple Flower Weeds
Maintaining a healthy, dense lawn grass prevents most weeds. In fact, over 90% of weed invasions occur in thin, patchy turf. As a horticulturist, I’ve observed the opportunistic nature of weeds like forget-me-nots, wild violets, bull thistles, and Canada thistles.

Their wind-dispersed seeds embed in poor soil and germinate when conditions allow. Keep grass lush and turf vigorous through proper mowing, fertilization, irrigation, and soil amendment. Hand pull small infestations after rainfall when soil loosens. Check regularly for new seedlings and eliminate immediately before flowering.

For severe infestations, apply selective herbicides like 2,4-D in early spring targeting young basal rosettes. Combining vigilant monitoring, prompt manual removal, and judicious herbicide use provides effective integrated management without total eradication.

Our dynamic landscapes thrive on diversity; a beneficial equilibrium nurtures all inhabitants.

Control Purple Flower Weeds

Control Purple Flower Weeds
To effectively manage purple flowering lawn weeds such as creeping Charlie, henbit, and wild violet, you must first properly identify the species based on leaf shape, stems, and growth habit. Careful observation reveals identifying features – creeping Charlie’s scalloped leaves and vining habit, henbit’s square stems and hairy leaves, or heart-shaped wild violet leaves.

Once identified, use integrated management practices like hand pulling small infestations, applying selective herbicides containing 2,4-D or dicamba in early spring targeting young basal rosettes, and maintaining optimal lawn health and density to control growth.

Background in botany and hands-on horticulture experience provide expertise in accurately diagnosing and strategically managing these common lawn invaders.

Organic Methods

Mulch heavily to smother those pesky blooms before they spread their seeds. As an experienced horticulturist, I’ve observed Cirsium arvense, Trifolium pratense, Cirsium vulgare, Viola sororia, and Cirsium arvense exhibiting prolific clonal spread through rhizomatous growth across thin turfgrass.

Leverage organic mulches like wood chips or landscape fabric to suppress opportunistic colonization, specifically targeting the squat basal rosettes in early spring. Through vigilant scouting and prompt manual extraction by the root before flowering, you can gain the upper hand against these tenacious perennials without resorting to industrial herbicides.

We’re all inhabitants of this landscape; seek balance through diversity, not eradication.

Herbicide Use

Y’all’d’ve sprayed that toxic cocktail by now if you really cared ’bout them dandelions.

  • Cirsium arvense, the pernicious Canada thistle
  • Cirsium vulgare, the tenacious bull thistle
  • Cirsium altissimum, the imposing tall thistle
  • Solanum nigrum, the persistent black nightshade

These nefarious dicots embed their clandestine caudex within the turf, defying mechanical extraction. Yet judicious applications of selective herbicides like 2,4-D provide effective solutions for restoring your landscape’s integrity through science-based management.

With vigilance and integrated tactics, baleful blooms bend before your botanical prowess.

Southern Ag Lawn Weed Killer

Southern Ag Lawn Weed Killer
You’re ready to banish those pesky purple bloomers with Southern Ag’s powerful concentrate.

Common Name Scientific Name Identifying Features
Creeping Charlie Glechoma hederacea Scalloped, rounded leaves. Prostrate mat-forming vines. Purple flowers. Aromatic when crushed.
Henbit Lamium amplexicaule Square stems. Rounded leaves attached directly to stem. Pale purple flowers.
Purple Deadnettle Lamium purpureum Triangular to heart-shaped leaves. Dense whorls of purple flowers on square stems.
Wild Violet Viola sororia Heart-shaped leaves with scalloped edges. Trailing stems. Solitary purple and white flowers.

As an experienced horticulturist, I rely on botanical terminology and observational skills honed through academic study and hands-on fieldwork to accurately identify problematic lawn weeds. Proper classification using scientific nomenclature and noting diagnostic morphological characteristics allows strategic management tailored to each species’ growth habits and reproductive strategies for effective, sustainable control.

My expertise helps homeowners successfully eliminate these common purple-flowered invaders.

Stop Reinfestation

Stop Reinfestation
You’d lose your mind if I told ya over 60% of homeowners battle those pesky bloomers again within a year of thinking they’d won. As a professional horticulturist, I’ve seen it time and again – the heartbreak when Viola sororia, that trailing scourge, pokes through the turf once more.

Constant vigilance is key. Patrol regularly for seedlings of Centaurea stoebe and other bullous beasts. Hand pull promptly before they establish extensive rhizomal reserves. Strategically apply selective herbicides like dicamba to disrupt germination.

With my academically honed observational skills, we’ll identify every purplish pest, from Solanum nigrum to Lamium amplexicaule.

Together, through tireless integrated management, we’ll break the cycle and banish the blooms for good.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What time of year do these purple flowering weeds typically emerge?

As a horticulturist, I recommend scouting your lawn and gardens in early spring when temperatures rise above 50°F, as this is when winter annuals like henbit, purple deadnettle, and wild violet emerge to flower and set seed before summer arrives.

Carefully identifying young seedlings by their leaf shape and growth habit allows for strategic early intervention to prevent these weeds from spreading rapidly.

How long does it take for purple flowering weeds to produce seeds?

The purple flowering weeds usually produce seeds within 4-6 weeks after emerging in spring or early summer. Timely removal is key to preventing mature plants from spreading seeds and infesting larger areas.

Are there any biological controls, like beneficial insects, that can help manage purple flowering weeds?

Have you considered introducing beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings? Their larvae happily feast on troublesome weeds, providing natural biological control without chemicals. However, complete eradication requires an integrated approach including proper cultural practices.

Let’s explore sustainable solutions tailored to your landscape’s specific needs.

What precautions should be taken when using herbicides to control purple flowering weeds?

When applying herbicides for purple flowering weeds, carefully read and adhere to all label directions for proper application rates, timing, and safety precautions. Wear protective apparel, limit herbicide drift, and keep people and pets off treated zones until dry to prevent exposure.

Following usage guidelines prevents environmental pollution and protects your health and wellbeing. Judicious usage ensures effective weed control while safeguarding yourself, others, and the environment.

Vary application timing based on weed growth stage as indicated on the label. Calibrate spray equipment regularly to deliver the correct quantity of herbicide.

How deep do the roots of purple flowering weeds grow compared to turfgrass roots?

The fibrous roots of creeping Charlie, purple deadnettle, henbit, and wild violet typically reach 6-12 inches deep. In contrast, cultivated turfgrasses develop dense root systems extending 6-18 inches deep.

This allows the shallow-rooted broadleaf weeds to thrive in lawns with poor soil health.


Through the lens of a seasoned botanist, the purple flowering weeds infiltrating your lawn are not pests but teachers. Just as the vivid hues of creeping Charlie beckon us to observe its delicate foliage, so too does each sprout hold lessons if we care to look deeper.

Though manual removal may exhaust their underground reserves, consider sparing a patch to study their adaptive habits. For even these common interlopers – henbit, deadnettle, and violet – came equipped to thrive, signaling the conditions right for their growth – conditions we can adjust to favor more desirable blooms.

With insight into what these opportunists need to spread, called by name we can redirect their vigor to spaces that will benefit from wild beauty. Only when we approach with curiosity rather than contempt can we discover the purpose behind their presence.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.