Yellow flowers in the pasture
As our cold days are moving out, we start seeing the flowering of many weeds turning into yellow flowers. As I was starting my working week, several friends and producers ask me about “this little yellow flower that grows everywhere”. Diligently, I went into finding of such as pesky flower and found not one but several weeds flowering with yellow blooms in the country side. From the many yellowing flowers native to Hopkins, the dandelion and buttercup are probably the most abundant this time of the year.
The dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a troublesome weed in bluegrass lawns throughout the transition zone. Although it is found in every southern state, it is most troublesome in the cooler regions where it persists year-round. The bright yellow flower of the dandelion appears from early spring through summer in the transition zone where it constrats sharply with the color and texture of turfgrasses. In the Gulf States the flowering period ends in late spring. The dandelion is frequently cited as having medicinal values. Plants are sometimes eaten raw in salads or blanched like endive and used as a green. Dandelion roots have been used medicianlly as a simple bitter laxative. Chinese regard the whole plant as useful for abscesses, boils, snakebites, ulcers and other internal injuries. The dandelion is a perennial plant with a deep, thick taproot. A rosette of basal leaves emerge from the crown of the plant. The leaves are long, narrow, deeply notched with backward pointed lobes. The leaves and flower stalk contain a milk-like juice. Flower stalks are long and slender and terminate in a single flower. The flower is 1 to 1° inches across and consists of bright yellow to orange-yellow petals. The flower head is surrounded by narrow pointed bracts with the outer ones curved backwards. The seeds are brown, -inch long, narrow, with a parachute-like pappus attached to a long beak at the upper end. The dandelion flowers from April through June and seed mature and disperse quickly after the bloom appears. Dandelions are readily controlled by 2,4-D, or products containing 2,4-D, if applications are made in fall or early spring before the plants begin to flower. After flowering begins, 2,4-D will twist and curl the leaves and flower stalks, but the plants often survive the treatment.
Buttercup (Ranunculus species): One of the many yellow flowering weeds that we fight in pastures and hay meadows. Buttercup is a winter annual that thrives in weak or thin pastures. There are several species of this winter annual. They differ mainly in leaf shape and growth, but all produce characteristic bright yellow blossoms. March to early April is the best time to kill buttercup. The goal is to spray buttercup before bloom. Fertilizing and liming to soil test recommendations and efficient utilization of pastures or hay fields are the primary ways to decrease weed pressure. Control can be accomplished using Weedmaster, 2, 4-D, GrazonNext, Grazon P+D, Milestone, Cimarron Max (for bermudagrass pastures, will destroy bahiagrass), Pastora (for bermudagrass pastures, will destroy bahiagrass). For more information on this or any other agricultural topic please contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443 or email me at [email protected] edu.
REMEMBER: THE LABEL IS THE LAW! Always read the pesticide label before using.
Texas Watershed Steward Workshop, May 6, 2016, Rains County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 410 Tawakoni Drive (highway 276) Emory Texas. Workshop with overview of water quality and watershed management in Texas. CEU’s for Private applicators and others. Register by calling 979-862-4457 or http://tws.tamu.edu.
Homeowner Maintenance of Aerobic Treatment Units, May 16, 2016 at the Hopkins County Extension Office located at 1200B Houston Street, Sulphur Springs, Texas. $100 registration. Call 903-885-3443.