One of the most frustrating things commercial and residential lawn owners have to deal with during the growing season is yellow-flowered weeds. These weeds can wreak havoc on lawns. They often grow quickly and multiply seemingly overnight, especially in the late summer. The drought-tolerant weeds can be difficult to irradicate.
In this article, I’ll help you identify common yellow-flowering weeds and provide you with some tips to help you remove them.
30 Most Common Weeds With Yellow Flowers
I’ve listed these weeds in order of the likeliness of the weed appearing in your yard. This will vary depending on your growing region.
#1. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
This deep root, short-lived perennial weed can be found in most locations and, if left unchecked, can take over a yard quickly. It can grow in wet or dry soil.
To remove: Hand pulling is the best way to remove individual dandelions because you can remove the entire root. If you have a dandelion infestation, consider a non-selective herbicide that includes glyphosate. Be careful, though. Glyphosate will kill any plant it comes in contact with, including grass.
#2. Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
This member of the Onagraceae family can grow up to 36 inches (.91 meters) with leaves up to 12 inches (47 cm) long. The colorful yellow flowers open at night and can be found just about anywhere.
To remove: Fortunately, this plant is easy to remove because of its shallow root system. Hand-pulling is the easiest way to remove it.
#3. Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)
This difficult-to-control weed can be a nightmare for lawns and gardens Not only does this annual plan produce a massive amount of seeds, it also contains a poisonous sap that can irritate the skin and eyes. Its name comes from the small plant’s appearance to cypress trees.
To remove: If you have a small amount, it is easiest to pull the tall plant material up by hand and dispose of it. Be careful not to shake off any seeds. Chemical preemergence herbicides and broadleaf herbicides can be effective in removing Cypress Spurge. Be sure to use gloves and eye protection when pulling or spraying.
#4. Garden Loosestrife (Lysimachia Vulgaris)
Garden Loosestrife can be BIG! They will regularly grow up to three feet tall, have small yellow flowers, and spread quickly through seed and root system growth. You will most likely find these weeds in damp to wet soil areas.
To remove, hand-pull the plant by the roots and dispose of it. Be sure to dig up the roots to curb regrowth. For large, dense patches, non-selective herbicides may be necessary.
#5. Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
This weed is my least favorite. The perennial plant loves to grow in those well-watered places and flowers in the hot summer months.
To remove: Nutsedge spreads quickly through seeds and root system growth. You can try to pull it, it is hard to pull the entire root system. I’ve had success with Imazapyr, a selective herbicide that will slow down the growth of nutsedge while not harming the desirable plants in my gardens and flower beds.
#6. California Burr Clover (Medicago polymorph)
If you live in California like me, you have probably experienced California Burr Clover. Found in agricultural land, turf, and just about any disturbed area in most of California. Cows love to eat it, but sheep farmers hate it because its prickly fruit can come entangled in sheep wool. It has green leaves, can grow up to two feet, and its yellow flowers bloom from March clear through June.
To remove: You can pull small patches, but overgrown areas will likely need to be irradiated by using a post-emergence herbicide. These herbicides work best if applied in May and June. If you decide to try to hand-pull these often massive plants, be sure to pull the entire plant, root and all.
#7. Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Bird’s-foot trefoil is surprisingly a member of the pea family. Bird’s foot Trefoil has narrow leaflets and a small yellow flower that, if left untouched, will turn into a pea that looks like a bird’s foot. It will grow just about anywhere but is drought tolerant and prefers full sun locations.
To remove: Applying a glyphosate herbicide in the spring before the plant flowers is the best way to eliminate the weed. If you notice the weed after it flowers, you can dig it up and dispose of it. Regularly mowing your lawn to keep the plant from flowering will also help reduce plant growth.
#8. Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)
Lesser Celandine grows close to the ground and has very dark leaves and yellow flowers that bloom in the spring long before most other weeds show their colors. Less Calendine prefers damp growing areas.
To remove: This is another weed that can pretty easily be pulled out of the ground and disposed of if you have a small amount growing. If you have a larger patch growing, you’ll need to apply a herbicide, likely more than once, to remove it.
#9. Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)
Yellow Sorrel is a very common weed known for its clover-like appearance and ability to grow almost anywhere. Spread quickly by seed, it can take over a lawn or garden quickly.
To remove: Hand-pulling is really the easiest method for removing Yellow Sorrel. If the ground is hard, or you have a lot of it, consider using a shovel or how to lose it from the ground. Be sure to remove the entire plant.
#10. Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)
Another pea family member, this black weed’s name is derived from its uncanny resemblance to a horse’s hoof.
To remove: Black medic has a long taproot, making it easy to remove in damp soil and difficult in dry soil. Use a shovel to remove it from garden areas. If you have it on your lawn, you can literally mow it to death. Mowing wears the plant down and will eventually kill it.
#11. Golden Clover (Trifolium aureum)
Commonly found in lawns and gardens all over North America, Golden Clover can grow to over two feet tall if left unattended. The tall plants dark green leaves and medium-sized yellow flowers.
To remove: Regularly maintaining and fertilizing your lawn goes a long way when keeping Golden Clover away. If you have it growing, you can remove it by pulling up its often extensive root system. Be sure to dispose of the roots, plant, and any seed heads. Glyphosate-based herbicides also generally kill Golden Clover.
#12. Skeletonweed (Chondrilla Juncea)
You wouldn’t think a member of the daisy family would have a name like Skeleton Weed, but it does. This invasive plant can produce over 10,000 seeds a year that are easily spread, and it will grow in turf grass, ditches, and fields.
To remove: Hand pulling, hoeing, or digging can be effective for smaller patches of skeleton weed removal. It’s important to remove the plant before it starts to bolt and the seeds set. Removal of this noxious weed is significantly easier to do when the soil is moist.
#13. Narrow-Leaf Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
Easily confused with the Broadleaf Plantain, this plant is edible, both raw and cooked. After flowering, the plant’s seeds tend to cluster together at the tip of the stem.
To remove: Don’t want to grow this on your lawn to add to your salad? You can easily dig out plantains, especially in sandy or moist soil. You can also treat these plants with most herbicides.
#14. Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)
Many people like to use Creeping CInquefoil as a ground cover for partly shaded areas. Most consider it an invasive plant, however. The plant grows 3 to 6 inches tall and has a yellow flower that is about an inch in diameter.
To remove: If you determine the plant weed in your lawn is indeed cinquefoil, you have your hands full. Cinquefoil has a long tap root that can be hard to pull out. If you don’t pull the tap root out, the plant will continue to regrow. If you decide to use herbicides to eliminate this lawn and garden weed, be sure to follow the directions carefully.
#15. Yellow Rocket (Narbarea vulgaris)
Yellow rockets will invade your lawn and live among your garden plants. A member of the mustard family, it can grow over feet in height and produces small, inch wide flowers.
To remove: If your soil is hard and dry, you will have difficulty pulling the long taproot from the ground. Repeated mowing or cutting off the top portion of the plant before it bolts and produces seeds will stop the plant from reseeding and eventually kill it.
#16. Marsh Yellowcress (Rorippa palustris)
Marsh Yellowcress has small, abundant yellow flowers with four petals in clusters. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 or more feet wide. Yellowcress can be very difficult to manage because it reproduces from the stem, rhizome, or even a root fragment.
To remove: You can cut or pull Yellowcress in small amounts, but if you have a large area covered in this difficult weed, your best option will likely be nonselective herbicide control. Always be sure to read the herbicide label before applying.
#17. Butterweed (Packera Glabella)
Butterweed possess leaves that are smooth and lanceolate shaped and small yellow flowers. The almost hairy leaves gives the plant a smooth feeling. It gets its name from the yellow buttery substance that comes from it when its leaves and stems are broken.
To remove: Butterweed is a non-aggressive plant, but it has a nightly taproot. Controlling the plant in the fall when it is growing will help keep it at bay next growing season. For best long-term results, use a Glyphosate-based herbicide.
#18. Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)
Yellow Salsify is a member of the Aster family and is commonly found in lawns and gardens. It is best known for its long, thin leaves and small yellow flower.
Remove Salsify in early to late spring before flower heads appear. Since the plant has deep roots, you may consider using a shovel to loosen the ground. Salsify can also be effectively removed with glyphosate herbicides.
#19. Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Canada Goldenrod is a tall weed (around 6ft) with small, bushy, yellow blowers. It can grow in your green grass, garden, or pasture.
To remove: Due to its prolific seed production, it’s critical that you start removing it as soon as you see it. Once established, it is difficult to remove by hand, so you will want to dig it up or use a glyphosate herbicide.
#20. Common Ragwort (Senecio vulgaris)
Ragwort is commonly found in pastures and along the side of the road. This is problematic for farmers as it is poisonous to many of their livestock. Ragwort produces small yellow flowers similar to its relatives in the daisy family.
The best way to remove Ragwort is to remove the entire plant. This can be difficult since it loves to grow in places where soil compaction is prevalent. You will likely need a shovel to help you get started and will need to remove Ragwort from the area multiple times until it is gone.
#21. St. John’s-Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
You may find St. John’s-Wort on roadsides, construction sites, and parking lots. The plant spreads quickly and has small dark green leaves with tiny black spots. The flower is small, vibrant, and has five petals.
To remove: While this plant has a large taproot, it can usually be pulled easily, especially if the soil is moist. St. John’s-Wort can also be effectively removed with glyphosate herbicides.
#22. Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Creeping Buttercup is especially troublesome for those in the Pacific Northwest part of the United States. It has dark green leaves and a yellow flower that can be found in clusters or individually. It spreads by both seed and root systems. Creeping Buttercup can also be toxic to livestock.
To remove: Small patches of Creeping Buttercup can be controlled by digging up the plant and disposing of it. If you want to use a chemical approach, Herbicides containing MCPA or Aminopyralid have been proven effective in controlling creeping buttercup. when it is actively growing. Glyphosate herbicides work as well.
#23. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
Purslane is a pesky weed that can be found in lawns and gardens. It is spread by seeds and roots, making it difficult to control. Purslane has small yellow flowers and smooth leaves. Often the leaves will have faint red or purple colors in them.
To remove: Purslane is best removed by digging up the plant and then returning in a couple of days to ensure that it hasn’t started growing again. Glyphosate herbicides can be used, but you will likely have to apply multiple treatments if you have had an infestation.
#24. Spanish Broom (Spartium Junceum)
Spanish Broom – our biggest weed, often growing up to 15 feet tall. It has long dark green leaves and a skinny stem. Its yellow flowers form in clusters at the tip of the stems.
To remove: Digging up Spanish Broom is the best way to keep it from spreading.
#25. Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
Wild Parsnip has broad leaves and produces hundreds of small yellow flowers that bloom in the summer. The roots of the plant are edible, but the plant produces a compound that can cause chemical burns, rash, or blistering if it comes in contact with your skin on sunny days.
To remove: Because of the toxic compound, the weed exudes, make sure you use gloves and eye protection when removing Wild Parsnip. Herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr can also treat areas with Wild Parsnip growing.
#26. Wintercress (Barbarea Vulgaris)
Wintercress’ bright yellow flowers bloom in early to late spring and produce and are most commonly found along the side of the roads or in pastures in the Northeastern states of the US.
To remove: If you have a small amount of Wintercress growing, you can pull it out. If you have a large amount growing, the best way to eliminate it is to move it as close to the ground as possible, then treat it with an herbicide. You will likely have to repeat this process more than once, as Wintercress is hard to eliminate.
#27. Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)
You can find this European export in almost every US state and Canadian province. It is tall (6ft), and has small yellow flowers and lobed leaves.
To remove: Removing this plant in spring before it flowers goes a long way in controlling its growth. You can remove them by hand, hoe, or shovel. Areas with large amounts of Wild Radish growing are most easily treated with herbicides.
#28. Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Knotweed is a perennial weed that grows in thick, dense mats and has wiry stems that grow out from a single taproot similar to a dandelion root. Knotweed and its white or yellow flowers will spread quickly through lawns and gardens if left unchecked. Have it growing near the foundation of your house? Knotweed roots can crack concrete. Make sure you get rid of it ASAP.
To remove: This troublesome weed can take several seasons to eliminate once it’s established. You can start with a granular pre-emergent to slow it down, but you’ll likely need to spot treat throughout the growing season.
#29. Yellow Toadflax (Linaria Vulgaris)
Its long narrow pointed leaves, with bright yellow clustered flowers, make this plant that can grow up to two feet, easy to identify. You’ll find Toadflax in sunny areas that also have well-drained soil.
To remove: Yellow Toadflax can often be difficult to remove. Before it blooms, pull the plant, roots, and all from the ground. If the ground is too hard to pull the roots, trim the plant to the ground and spray the roots with a herbicide.
#30. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black-eyed Susans are a native plant to Great Plains and often look fantastic in flower gardens. Left uncontrolled, they can quickly turn from beautiful flowers to problematic weeds. Flower heads are large, and the leaves are usually dark green with a slight fuzz. Black-eyed Susans Flower from mid-June to September.
To remove: Once established, they can be tough to remove. The best way to remove them is to pull the plant up from its roots and dispose of it. Trimming the plant to the ground and spraying the ground with a herbicide will also remove the plant over time.
FAQs about Yellow Flower Weeds
Q: Are the yellow flowers in my yard weeds?
A: Simply put, they are a weed. Any flower not growing where it is intended is a weed. Use the table to determine the type of weed and the best way to eliminate these types of weeds.
Q: What are the tall yellow flowers on my lawn?
A: The most common tall weed with yellow flowers is called Purslane. Purslane is a drought-tolerant plant from the succulent family and loves the summer heat.
Q: What is the weed that looks like clover with yellow flowers?
A: There is an excellent chance you have California Burclover growing in your yard. Burclover is an edible, invasive weed that looks an awful lot like other clovers but gets its name from the burs in the plant that can be smooth or jagged.
Another common weed with clover-like leaves is the Yellow Sorrel. You’ll find these on your lawn, on the edge of the road, and anywhere else in between.
Q: Yellow Flowers Weeds: Pros and Cons
Pros – Many yellow flowering weeds can create a natural, drought-tolerant ground cover that needs very little maintenance. Many of these flowers are native plants that provide refuge for pollinators like the honey bee.
Cons – Once they start growing, keeping them contained can be a nightmare. This is the case for any weed, but many with yellow flowers can be especially troublesome. The weeds often spread far and wide and can grow many feet tall.
Q: How do I get rid of yellow flowering weeds?
A: The easiest way to get rid of yellow flowering weeds after they have started growing is to either hand pull them, or spray them with a weed killer. Most broadleaf herbicides will do the trick, but read the label to ensure you apply at the right time and on the correct broadleaf weeds.
The best way to eliminate common lawn weeds with yellow flowers is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide early in the growing season before the weed seeds germinate and spray or spread weed killers as you notice weeds start to appear. If you are using a chemical approach to removing weeds, be sure to read the product label before applying. Hand-pulling weeds can be effective if you catch the weed growth before it has grown out of control. If you elect to hand-pull, be sure to pull the entire plant, including the entire root. Both perennial and annual weeds can spread quickly and become a problem.
Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.