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What Kinds of Weeds Are the Most Common in New Mexico and Southwest TX?

weedcontrolWhether weeds invade a lawn, farmland or grazing pastures, they can be a frustrating sight to behold. Because weeds tend to be quite adaptable and adept at surviving, they can be difficult to eradicate. Fortunately, not every weed can thrive in New Mexico and Southwest Texas; unfortunately, there are several that are extremely common.

Black Medic

Black medic is also known by many other names, including hop clover, nonesuch, black clover, blackweed, hop medic and black hay. Mature plants can reach heights of as much as 32 inches. Each leaf consists of three toothy, hairy leaflets that are oval in shape. The flowers are yellow and small, seldom measuring more than one-third inch in diameter. Black medic produces a small fruit that turns black and hard when ripe. Because it is a hardy weed that thrives in a variety of soils and weather conditions, black medic can be difficult to eradicate without professional assistance.

Bull Thistle

Bull thistle, also known as common thistle or spear thistle, is classified as a noxious weed in New Mexico and many other states. A biennial, bull thistle can produce a taproot up to 27 inches during its first year. The stem can grow up to 48 inches in height during the second year. Bull thistle produces a cluster of purple flowers and has spines on the stem as well as the leaves.


Dandelions are perennial plants that are common throughout all temperate zones in the Northern Hemisphere. The plant's relatively long taproot makes it difficult to eliminate dandelions through traditional weeding methods. Dandelions are easily recognized by their yellow flowers that rapidly turn into fluffy seed balls. When dry, the seeds are dispersed by the wind.


Foxtail, also known as yellow foxtail, cattail grass and pigeon grass, is an annual grass that can reach more than 36 inches in height. It can be an unwelcome invader in lawns as well as cultivated fields. The leaves are typically hairy at the base. Seed heads resemble a bristly foxtail and change from green to yellow upon reaching maturity.

Grass Burr

Whether they call them grass burrs, stickers, goat heads or pricking monsters, most people in New Mexico and Southwest Texas have experienced the results of stepping on one of these plants. When young, grass burrs may be mistaken for just another green weed. However, as the plants mature, they develop seed heads containing the burrs. These burrs can cling to clothing or a pet's fur, be carried inside and become lodged in the carpeting to deliver an unwelcome surprise.


Although the term encompasses a number of different members of the aster family, ragweeds share one characteristic — the pollen they produce is responsible for many allergy attacks every year. Interestingly, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Mexico are part of the area known as the original home of ragweeds. A ragweed may be a perennial or annual, grow to a height of a few inches or more than 12 feet and have leaves in a variety of shapes and alignments. The diversity can make identification difficult for the average person.


The spurge family is an extremely large and diverse group, but in New Mexico, spotted spurge is the member of the family that is commonly encountered. Spotted spurge is a short, spreading plant that seldom reaches more than 12 inches in height. The leaves are small and oval, typically displaying a splotch of purple at the center. Inconspicuous white or pink-red flowers grow along the stem. Spotted spurge prefers a sunny location, but it is less discriminating about the soil. Contact with the plant's sap can result in skin irritation or a rash.

Whether you need help to control weeds, indoor pests, rodents or stinging insects, contact Advanced Pest & Weed Management for solutions that are tailored to your specific needs.

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