Cutleaf Evening Primrose is a common weed found in our region. Tennessee is a perfect breeding ground for this winter annual. In addition to Tennesee, you can find it growing in much of the United States including the northeast, southeast, and southwest states.
Photo credit to University of Tennessee Knoxville.
What does Cutleaf Evening Primrose look like?
The leaves are simple, elliptic or lance-shaped. The leaf blade is narrow, with deep irregular notches on the sides. The leaves are alternately arranged on the stems which are reddish in color.
It's growth pattern can be either erect or low growing across turf. When erect, it is generally no more than 34 inches tall. When growing along the ground, the plant begins with a rosette of leaves then begins shooting out hairy stems that can stretch from 3-6 feet long. Flowers and seed pods are both produced from the stems. The yellow or red flowers bloom and fall off in a quick 24 hours, giving way to seed pods that subsequently open up to disburse seeds.
How to manage it?
This may not be a weed that takes over your whole lawn, but it's unwanted nonetheless. It likes to grow in partial shade and can survive drought-like conditions. Also, they don't need much to survive as far as nutrients go. So how do you control and get rid of it? The best defense is to treat your lawn with a pre-emergent treatment to prevent them from coming up. Once they are up, manual pulling will work as long as there aren't too many. A post-emergent treatment works well, too. Of course, healthy turf with a deep root system will starve out weeds, so make sure you're following our 5 Commandments of Lawn Care throughout the whole year!
Appearance: The leaves are simple, either elliptic or lance-shaped. The leaf blade is narrow, with deep irregular notches on the sides. The leaves are alternately arranged on the stems which are reddish in color.
Life cycle: Winter annual
Where it grows: Grows well in disturbed or distressed areas such as roadsides, fence lines, ditches, etc.
Reproduces by: Seed
How to prevent: Treat with pre-emergent, especially along fence lines and by the road and ditches.
How to remove: Pull it up by hand or spray with post-emergent treatment