Lawn Burweed

Biological Name:

Lawn-Burweed: Soliva sessilis

Natural Habitat:

The natural habitat of Lawn-Burweed is likely grassy areas, including lawns and other grassy environments, in a variety of geographic regions.


Lawn-burweed is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in fields and other grassy areas. It is a member of the Asteraceae family which also includes plants such as sunflowers and daisies. Lawn-burweed is an annual or perennial plant that produces small white or pink flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas lawn-burweed is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I get rid of burweed in my lawn?
A: The best strategy for controlling lawn burweed is to apply a preemergence herbicide, containing the active ingredients atrazine or isoxaben, in late September to early October before the winter weeds germinate. This method will kill it upon sprouting and greatly reduce its presence in your yard next spring.

Q: How do you get rid of grass burrs without killing grass?
A: The best way to control grass burs is to eliminate them before they appear – while the seeds are still in the ground. For that, you’ll need a quality pre-emergent herbicide like Balan 2.5%, which will prevent grass burs and other crab grass varieties from emerging during the growing season.

Q: Where did lawn burweed come from?
A: Burweed In Home Lawns This sneaky weed originated in South America but is now widely known across the world. Also known as spurweed or sticker weed, this small weed can stick to your clothes due to the burrs it produces.

Q: How do I treat my lawn for stickers?
A: A two-prong approach will work best when controlling burweed or sticker weed. The first effort is preemptive and involves the use of a preemergence herbicide or weed preventer. A preemergence herbicide is applied before the seeds start germinating in the fall, and it kills the seeds as they germinate.

Q: When Should I spray my yard for stickers?
A: According to turfgrass weed scientists at MSU, the most effective, albeit inconvenient, method of controlling stickers is to apply a granular pre-emergence herbicide in early fall, before October before the seeds sprout.

Q: What causes burrs in grass?
A: Burrs take over your lawn when their seeds are spread. One of the easiest ways to make this mistake is through improper lawn mowing practices. In order to prevent the spread of grass burrs or other weed seeds that could infect your lawn, make sure your mower is properly bagged to collect your yard’s undesirables.

Q: Can you pull up burweed?
A: Burweed is a cool season annual and it has only one way to reproduce – by seed. The good news is this weed is an annual which means if you pull it before the seeds fall to the ground you have killed any future plants. We would suggest you remove the weeds by using a hoe rather than hand pulling.

Q: What grass will choke out stickers?
A: Sandbur seed pods can ruin a walk through the yard. Whether you call them stickers or sandburs, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert can help you win the war against these prickly little pain dispensers. Sandburs, also known as grassbur or sandspur, are an annual and/or perennial grass.

Q: What fertilizer kills burweed?
A: On St. Augustine and Centipede turf, use Hi-Yield® Atrazine to kill and prevent Burweed, adding Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker to increase effectiveness. Post-emergent products: When temperatures are cool and on the right turf, ferti•lome® Weed Free Zone is best.

Q: What is the best burweed killer?
A: Postemergence herbicides such as 2,4-D, simazine, dicamba, metsulfuron, mecoprop, fluroxypyr, or auxin containing formulations will get the job done.

Q: How do you get rid of sticker burrs in your yard?
A: ”

Q: How long do grass stickers last?
A: Along with that, sand bur seeds (the stickers) stay viable for up to seven years. This means that, even though it may appear you have the sand bur under control using only herbicides, after the pre-emergent fades, the stickers will be back…and possibly for up to seven years or more.

Q: How do you identify burweed?
A: Burweed, or Spurweed, is a low-growing, cool-season, annual broadleaf weed. It is easily identified by its low, fernlike foliage and sharp, spiny seed pods, which ripen in late spring. The leaves are deeply divided and covered in fine hairs. The stems branch at the base and have dark purple spots.

Q: Is it too late to spray for burweed?
A: Lawn burweed is easy to control, but if you already have the stickers it is too late. You can kill the burweed in the Spring, but the stickers have already formed and will still be an issue after the plant is dead. The best way to control burweed is to treat your lawn for the weed in December, January or February.

Q: What causes burweed?
A: The culprit is burweed or sticker weed (Soliva pterosperma), a cool-season annual weed that germinates in the fall as temperatures cool. It grows over the winter and flowers and produces seed pods in the spring. It is the seed pods that cause problems as they produce sharp spines as they mature.

Q: Is burweed an annual or perennial?
A: Mature burweed plants are cool-season annuals and will die when the temperatures reach 90 °F.

Q: What does bur clover look like?
A: Stems grow to 2 feet (60 cm) long and tend to trail along the ground, but may grow upright. Leaves divide into three round leaflets, resembling those of clover and usually have reddish-tinged midveins. Leaflets have serrated edges.

Q: What is another name for burweed?
A: Other names for this weed are spurweed and stickerweed. Lawn burweed (Soliva sessilis) is a winter annual that germinates throughout thin turf in the fall months as temperatures cool.

Q: How do you get rid of sticker burrs naturally?
A: The baking soda pulls water out of the weeds so they die out. Take a pinch of baking soda and sprinkle it on top of the stickers and around the roots. Immediately water the soil so the baking soda soaks in and gets absorbed by the roots. Baking soda works best to kill stickers before they form seeds or burrs.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.