Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - November 06, 2012

From: Harwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Problem Plants
Title: Identity of yellow-flowered plant with stickers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have yellow flowered plant taking over my lawn. I used weed killers last year and it has spread this year and still spreading. It has small burs (not as hard as a regular sticker bur but will stick in your foot or hand. What is it and how do I get rid of it?

ANSWER:

The best possibility for your weed, I think, is one of the burclovers.   One with particularly prickly seeds is Medicago polymorpha [syn. = Medicago hispida] (California burclover). It was introduced from Europe and is commonly used as a forage or cover crop for livestock.  It also is a nitrogen fixer that enhances nitrogen availability in the soil.  However, even though sheep eat it, the prickly seeds tend to get caught in the sheep's wool and lower the value of the wool.  It is considered invasive in many places as it spreads through lawns and other unwanted areas.  You can see on the general distribution map from the USDA Plants Database that it occurs over most of North America.  Although it is not shown as occurring in Gonzales County on the Texas County Distribution map, it is shown as occurring in counties surrounding Gonzales County.  You can read from Dr. Kaae-Online an extensive article on various methods to control it that are based on the University of California Online IPM Programs.  As you know, it isn't easy to control and you will need to use a combination of methods and be persistent.

Another possibility for your plant is Tribulus terrestris (Puncture vine), a native of temperate and tropical areas of the Old World.  However, its seeds are quite formidable and have been known to puncture tires so I doubt that this is your weed.

If neither of these plants is your problem plant, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Eliminating non-native invasive Asian jasmine in Temple TX
February 06, 2010 - Hello, behind my backyard fence there is a large growth (about 300 to 400 sq feet) of Asian jasmine. It was planted by previous owners. It prevents growth of native plants like holly. What is the prac...
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of catalpa wood?
June 05, 2012 - Is the sawdust from cutting up a catalpa tree or the smoke from burning the wood toxic? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
October 25, 2013 - Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating silverleaf nightshade from Albuquerque NM
June 07, 2014 - I have silverleaf nightshade in my yard and would like to eradicate it (yeah, I know, good luck!) or at least control it. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Controlling KR Bluestem
February 11, 2016 - How can I control KR Bluestem in my 55 acre coastal bermuda hayfield? The field has a Farm Road along one side planted in KR, and now the hayfield is about 25 - 30% KR. Summer burn is fairly dangerous...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.