Identifying Yellow Flowering Weed Plants

Finding and removing weeds growing around your home can help your property look clean and well-cared for. The many types of tall weeds with yellow flowers are what make identifying plants difficult. Though some yellow weeds are small and grow in patches, others can be several feet tall and grow sparingly across your property. Knowing what weeds have yellow flowers, what they look like and where to find them will help assist you in maintaining your property and preventing excessive growth.


Also known as taraxacum officinale (botanical name), dandelions have a long taproot with a yellow flower head and basil-like leaves at the base. These perennial weeds have deep roots that will continue to grow even after the plant leaves have died. Dandelion seeds spread quickly through the air, making them easy to spot in large patches across lawns and grassy areas. Dandelions grow during the early springtime and eventually produce white seedlings that easily spread.

Using a selective broadleaf herbicide is an excellent option to control the spread of dandelions. This herbicide kills the dandelions but not your grass. Using non-selective herbicide for specific patches of weeds is also an option, but use it sparingly since non-selective herbicide will kill any plant life. It’s best to use a pre-emergent herbicide before the dandelions have sprouted. However, if you don’t catch them in time, chemicals used in the spring may still be effective, though dandelions tend to be more resistant once sprouted. A hand digger or dandelion digger may be helpful in smaller spots. Be sure to tear out the entire taproot to prevent the weed from growing back.

Unlike other yellow weeds, dandelions are considered safe for humans to ingest. The leaves, in particular, have many medicinal uses. Dandelion leaves can be used as a slight laxative and are also rich in vitamins that help fight inflammation. People sometimes use the flower to make wine, infuse honey or brew tea.


An annual weed, butterweed is also known as packera glabella (botanical name), cress leaf groundsel or yellow top. Butterweed grows best in large groups and humid areas like ponds, swamps, forests and fields. The hollow stalk of the weed sprouts into a distinctive yellow flower resembling a daisy. These weeds are often found in late spring and early summer.

Butterweed germinates throughout winter and grows in spring. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring is one of the best ways to prevent the spread. Hand-pulling is another excellent option if the seeds have already sprouted. If the weed has grown in abundance, use a pelargonic acid product to kill the existing plants.

Butterweed is an excellent nectar source for bees, butterflies and other pollinators and insects. However, like many weeds with yellow flowers, butterweed contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can cause liver damage to livestock when eaten. Because of the danger to cattle, it may be essential to rid your property of butterweed to ensure animals don’t ingest it.


Also called jacobeae vulgaris (botanical name), ragwort is native to Europe and often grows in dry areas like trails and roadsides. Tansy ragwort is the most common variation of this weed and produces an unpleasant odor specific to the species. It’s a tall plant with dense yellow clustered flowers near the top of the stem. Ragwort spreads through the wind and produces anywhere from 50-6,000 seeds.

Glyphosate applied carefully to specific areas of your lawn or places overgrown by weeds can stop the spread. However, this chemical will kill other plants. Try to use a broad-leaved selective herbicide when considering ragwort control.

Ragwort is generally considered invasive and toxic to livestock and other animals. While it is important for pollinators, it is on the list of noxious weeds. Bees, butterflies and moths enjoy the flowers, so consider the location of your ragwort and its proximity to animals before removing it completely.

Spanish Broom

Spanish broom, also known as spartium junceum (botanical name) or rush broom, is a perennial shrub often used for yard decoration or ornamental landscaping. In some areas of the U.S., it has spread uncontrollably and is now considered a noxious species. Spanish broom reaches several feet in height and enjoys rocky soiled areas such as grasslands, roadsides and parking lots. The weed is characterized by its leafless stem and pea-shaped yellow flower with a fragrant vanilla smell.

You must pull out the entire root system of the Spanish broom to prevent the weed from growing back. This requires some special digging tools, weed wrenches or even the help of professional extraction.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort, also known as hypericum perforatum (botanical name), is another form of yellow flowering spring weeds and often grows in temperate regions. This week reaches approximately 3 feet in height, produces reddish stems with yellow-green leaves and sprouts a bright yellow flower with five petals.

Some hand-pulling methods work best when extracting St. John’s wort. Remember to remove the plant’s entire root to prevent future growth. Burning the weeds can also help with spreading, or you can use chemicals to kill the plants.

St. John’s wort is famous for its many medicinal and herbal uses. Safe for human ingestion, St. John’s wort has been used to treat anxiety, depression, wounds and insomnia, among other illnesses. Some people take the plant as a supplement, though the plant may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications like birth control or antidepressants.

Yellow Toadflax

A perennial weed, yellow toadflax is known as linaria vulgaris (botanical name), common toadflax or butter-and-eggs. This plant is among the many yellow weeds that look like flowers. Yellow toadflax can reach anywhere from 1-3 feet and has pale yellow flowers.

A chemical spray is the most common way to keep yellow toadflax from spreading. Competition control can also work for toadflax. Introducing other plants near the weeds can stop the spread and add competition to the fast-growing weeds.

Though toadflax does not have many uses, it can be cut and used for flower arrangements since the flower will last long in a vase with water.

How to Remove and Control Maryland Weeds

You need to know how to remove and control the weeds around your home to keep your yard looking fresh and inviting. You can take a few steps to ensure that unwanted weeds don’t pop up again or to control existing weeds throughout your property.

Know Your Soil Temperature

Soil temperature measures the warmth of your soil. Late emerging broadleaf weeds start germinating at around 50 degrees. Any chemical used on soil below 50 degrees will be ineffective. Use the USDA plant hardiness zone map to discover the plant hardiness of your area. Knowing your zone will help you determine when your soil will warm after winter and choose the best time to use your products.

Learn the Types and Quality of Grass

Learn the type of grass you use around your property or decide what kind of grass you’d like to grow to prevent the further spread of weeds. Some common grass types in Maryland include the following:

  • Turf-type tall fescue is dense with a rich green color.
  • Bluegrass is a durable cool-season grass that can handle harsh winters.
  • Ryegrass is a quickly-spreading grass with a dark green color.
  • Zoysia grass naturally resists weeds.

Use the Right Product

Learn the difference between pre-emergence and post-emergence products to get the best use out of your chemicals.

Pre-emergence products will treat the weeds before they sprout, preventing the growth of weeds before they fully germinate.

Post-emergence chemicals treat and control the weeds that have already sprouted or spread. This kind of product will help to stop the spread of weeds around your home and prevent weeds from growing the following year.

Learn More About OrganicLawn’s Services

At OrganicLawns, we are committed to helping customers keep their homes looking clean and attractive. Weeds left unchecked can become overgrown and overwhelming. With our organic weed control service, you can expect trained professionals to give you a weed-free lawn. OrganicLawns is proud to offer services using specialized products to prevent the growth of weeds. Contact us and schedule an onsite visit with one of our technicians, or get a free estimate today.

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