Lush Green Yard Care Blog

10 Common Weeds Found In Colorado Lawns

direct weed control sprayed onto a dandelion

Now that the sun is once again shining and lawns are being restored, it is time to talk about weeds! People with a green thumb know the damage weeds can cause, but many people do not even know how to identify weeds among the healthy grass and plants that live in a typical yard. We want every homeowner in the Grand Junction area to know how to spot some of the more common weeds in Colorado, so we have put together a list of weeds you are likely to encounter and how you can spot them!

Be sure to check out our weed control services this spring to keep your Colorado lawn free and clear of any harmful weeds!

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1) Dandelions

Dandelion overhead

Bright, yellow flowers turning into fluffy seed heads are the telltale signs of a dandelion invasion! These perennial, broadleaf weeds emerge from a single stem, and they boast the bright flowers we have all seen in springtime lawns. However, don’t be seduced by these cheerful little flowers, as this plant is an invasive weed with a deep, strong taproot that will deplete your lawn’s nutrients and leave you with thin, undernourished grass.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Dandelions’ yellow flowers that are so commonly associated with the weed only last for about 2 weeks after blooming. The flower will then give way to the fluffy seed head we are all familiar with, when the weed is fully mature.

What To Look For:

  • Bright yellow flowers
  • Fluffy seed head
  • Serrated leaves
  • Deep central taproots

2) Lamb's Quarters

identifying lambs quarters

Lamb’s quarters is an annual weed that can be identified by its thin, light green leaves and whitish powdery coating that often makes it appear gray in color. It is believed to have originated in Europe, though it is now found globally across different climate zones, such as ours here in Colorado. The powdery coating on the leaves also traps moisture and protects the plant from UV rays, allowing lamb’s quarters to live through almost any conditions, and out-compete your lawn!

  • DID YOU KNOW? Eating lamb’s quarters raw may sound unappetizing, but when cooked the weed is actually used as a nutritious vegetable. In fact, it contains more iron, protein, vitamin B2, and vitamin C than either spinach or cabbage.

What To Look For:

  • Light green leaves
  • White powdery coating
  • Pinnate leaves with 8-20 leaflets
  • Densely clustered seedlings

3) Canada Thistle


This perennial weed (also known as creeping thistle) is a common sight across many areas of Colorado, and it can live for up to three years in ideal conditions. Canada thistle looks like any other wildflower in the area, but unlike most wildflowers, this one reproduces quickly and spreads its seeds easily. This prickly weed is notorious for its barbed leaves, prickly flowers, and fibrous taproot.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Canada thistle has a long history as an invasive species; so much so that there is even a Canadian law that forbids the possession or transportation of this weed between provinces.


What To Look For:

  • Purple or pink flowers
  • Leaves with spiky edges
  • Thin stems that are covered in spines
  • Long taproots that can be up to 3 feet deep

4) Curly Dock

Identifying curly dock

Curly dock is a perennial, broadleaf weed with a thin, bright green stem and long, rippled leaves. It typically grows in rows along pathways or water sources, but it can also spread through your lawn if enough nutrients are available. The plant produces yellow-green flowers which then give way to long brown seed pods that open when ripe and release their many seeds. These pods are unsightly in lawns and can reach up to 5 feet tall, though they tend to be much less showy in residential lawns.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Curly dock has been used by people for centuries as a food source; the young leaves are edible and have a sweet taste similar to spinach!

What To Look For:

  • Bright green stems
  • Rippled leaves
  • Yellow-green flowers
  • Long, brown seed pods

5) Bindweed

field bindweed with morning glory flowers

Bindweed is a fast-growing, perennial weed that can be found in many lawns across Colorado, and often on the sides of roads also. This particular weed takes over quickly, and it can choke out other plants and grasses in the area. It has bright white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers with arrowhead shaped leaves, making it easy to spot in your garden or lawn.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Field bindweed is often confused for desirable morning glory flowers. Though bindweed is commonly referred to as “morning glory,” the invasive weed is an entirely different plant from garden morning glories.


What To Look For:

  • Bright white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers
  • Arrowhead shaped leaves
  • Thin, spiraling stems that spread quickly
  • Deep-seeded roots that reach 14 feet deep

6) Purslane

identifying purslane

Purslane is an annual weed that grows in large mats and can often be seen in gardens and lawns across Colorado. The plant has thick, fleshy leaves that are usually green, and they sometimes have specks of red with yellow flowers. You can also identify this weed by its red stem. This weed can reproduce quickly and spread through seeds as well as stem fragments, making it difficult to control once the invasion has begun!

  • DID YOU KNOW? Purslane is actually edible and contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable! It is also high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as magnesium, calcium, and potassium.


What To Look For:

  • Fleshy, thick leaves
  • Thick, red stems
  • Yellow flowers (not always present)
  • Thick matting when growing

7) Kochia

identifying kochia

Kochia is an annual weed that is most commonly found in disturbed soils around construction sites or roadsides, but it can also pop up in gardens and lawns if given the opportunity. The plant has a distinct triangular shape, often likened to a pyramid, with little fuzzy leaves that range from a gray color to a darker green. As the weed matures, you will likely notice the leaves growing quite long and hairy.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Kochia was actually used as a forage crop during World War II due to its high protein content and easy adaptability.


What To Look For:

  • Distinct triangular shape
  • Bright-green foliage
  • Small yellow flowers
  • Viable seed that can quickly take over an area

8) Annual Bluegrass

What does Bluegrass look like

This is probably the most common grassy weed you will find anywhere in the country, and Colorado is no different. It has thin, light green blades of grass with small grains at the tips of the leaves. Without close examination, it is almost impossible to differentiate this weed from the grass in your lawn, but it will be growing taller and faster than your grass. Its shallow roots will get first dibs on nutrients in the soil, which will leave your lawn weak.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Annual bluegrass has been known to cause temporary blindness if ingested by animals or humans! It contains a toxin that can irritate the eyes and cause temporary vision loss.


What To Look For:

  • Thin, light green leaf blades
  • Canoe-shaped tip
  • Grain-looking seed head
  • Shallow roots

9) Goosegrass

identifying goosegrass

Goosegrass is a warm-season weed that can be found in lawns throughout Colorado, but it can also perform well in cool-season lawns if temperatures are above 60 °F. It has folded leaves and flat stems, both of which usually have a glossy appearance to them. With shallow roots and a dense growth pattern, this weed will quickly make your lawn unattractive if it is ignored. 

  • DID YOU KNOW? Goosegrass was once used as an herbal remedy for sore throats. The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce swelling and pain.


What To Look For:

  • Folded leaves and flat stems
  • Glossy appearance
  • Patch-like growth pattern
  • White base at the center

10) Crabgrass

How to identify crabgrass

Last, but certainly not least, we have the very common crabgrass. Whether you knew what you were looking at, you have probably seen this weed. It grows well in all types of lawns, but it especially loves dry and poor-quality soil in summer. Its leaf blades are long and finger-like, with a wide and flat shape. It grows outward in a prostrate manner, and its bunch-type growth makes crabgrass quite formidable.

  • DID YOU KNOW? Crabgrass gets its name from its crab-like appearance. Viewed from above, you can even see a pinkish stem base with leaf blades growing low and outward like crab legs!


What To Look For:

  • Flat, wide leaves
  • Long stems
  • Pink at base of stems
  • Low, prostrate growth
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