Can anyone identify this small, sticky weed? The tips stick by the hundreds to shoes, socks, pets, or anything that goes through it. My back yard got a small patch of it about a year or two ago, and now the entire back yard is practically covered with it!

If anyone can recommend a weed killer that will control this menace, I would appreciate it.

Close-up of weed Close-up of flower Weed with context

  • Can you add another picture which shows the foliage of the plant please? – Bamboo Mar 28 at 23:57
  • @Bamboo I added another picture to better show the (practically microscopic) flower of the weed. But there is no other foliage -- what I show in the top picture is pretty much the entire above-ground portion of the plant. It's very small, but it's so pervasive that it's almost choked out my whole yard. – Haydentech Mar 29 at 14:37
  • I'm not sure what this plant is - I thought maybe Galium aparene (common name sticky willy) but that does have a bit of foliage and the flowers only have 4 petals.... – Bamboo Mar 29 at 19:39
  • @Bamboo: this is a caryophyllaceae. But not one on my flora. @ Haydentech: where did you find such flower? – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 29 at 20:08
  • @Haydentech - can you add a photo showing a patch of this plant actually in situ - it might (or might not) help... – Bamboo Mar 29 at 20:25

I think that's chickweed (Stellaria media). It's an annual, so the best way to kill it is to hand-pull it before it sets seed. This is always easier said than done because there is always a ton of it in the lawn before you really notice it. An herbicide is relatively useless with chickweed, though, because although it may kill the plant, it will kill the plant only after its seeds have been spread throughout your lawn. Next year, you may be able to use an herbicide if you spot-spray it onto the plants as soon as you see them in the spring. This year, it's already too late for that.

Hand-pulling is always a multi-year task, unfortunately.

  • There's a better solution than hand pulling. Get some hens. It's called "chickweed" for a reason! They will search and destroy every last seed. – alephzero Mar 29 at 0:32
  • Well, it looks like chickens are legal in the OP's area, so that might work. Chickens aren't for everyone though - I personally do not like dealing with them (this is thanks to a friend who raises chickens for eggs and whose chickens I've been around enough times to know better). Darn little dinosaurs... – Jurp Mar 29 at 2:14
  • Stellaria media is almost harmless. It growth slow. It doesn't make much competition on water and nutrients. And easy to remove by hand: it expand a lot horizontally, but without roots (but on main section). – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 29 at 7:55
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    In any case, to me it doesn't seem a Stellaria media (lack of leaves), long steam. I think it is one of the similar plants: Cerastium and company. – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 29 at 7:56
  • While I appreciate your response, I agree with @GiacomoCatenazzi -- this is not chickweed. My weed is much, much smaller and has no visible leaves at all, unlike the prominent leaves of chickweed. What you see in my first picture is practically the whole, mature plant, not just a tip. It's only a couple inches taller than the St. Augustine grass it's choking out. – Haydentech Mar 29 at 14:47

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