What Are the Purple Flower Weeds in My Yard?

Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Derek

Purple flower weed - thistle
Thistles are weeds with purple flowers

There are many weeds with purple flowers that you may find in your yard during their flowering season. Here are some of the common ones that are found all over the world.

As a gardener, I know how frustrating it can be to see purple flower weeds popping up all over the garden, specially in your cultivated lawn! Common weeds like Musk Thistle, Purple Dead Nettle, and Creeping Charlie can spread really quickly and throttle your own plants.

The good news is that you can use effective ways to get rid these weeds (or at least minimize them). Hand-pulling young weeds or mowing mature weeds before they have a chance to spread their seeds can stop them spreading. For weeds that are more stubborn, I recommend using a selective herbicide which kills the entire plant, if you’re lucky.

Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions so that you stay safe and it’s effective. With not too much effort and the right approach, you can keep these pesky purple-flowered weeds at bay and enjoy a beautiful, weed-free garden!

Contents show

List of purple flowering weeds

  • Musk Thistle (cut the root below ground level using spade or hoe)
  • Purple Dead Nettle (use Isoxaben pre-emergent herbicide)
  • Creeping Charlie (use broadleaf weed killer)
  • Purple Tulip
  • Purple Lupine
  • Pickerel Weeds (use a systemic aquatic weed killer e.g. Diquat
  • Purple Wild Flowers
  • Coneflowers
  • Canada Thistle (use Weedmaster weed killer)
  • Henbit (use Atrazine broadleaf weed killer, or similar broadleaf herbicides
Weed Name Common US States Removal Method
Musk Thistle Nationwide Cur root under ground or using a selective herbicide such as 2,4-D
Purple Dead Nettle Nationwide Hand-pulling, mowing, or using a herbicide
Creeping Charlie Nationwide Hand-pulling, mowing, or using a herbicide such as glyphosate
Purple Tulip Nationwide Hand-pulling or using a herbicide
Purple Lupine Nationwide Hand-pulling or using a herbicide
Pickerel Weeds Nationwide Hand-pulling or using a herbicide such as glyphosate
Purple Wildflowers Nationwide Hand-pulling or using a herbicide
Coneflowers Nationwide Hand-pulling or using a herbicide
Canada Thistle Nationwide Hand-pulling, mowing, or using a herbicide such as glyphosate
Henbit Nationwide Hand-pulling or using a herbicide

Although each weed is described, together with means of control, it’s probably best to have a global lawn care program to tackle all the problems at the same time. Lawn owners should look after the general health, as some weeds prefer unhealthy lawns.

A powerful herbicide may do the trick, but it depends how established the weeds are. A post-emergent herbicide used in early spring gives the best chance of control.

There are so many purple flowering weeds that either grow on farmland, in the yards or lawns, grasslands, or meadows. These weeds include but are not limited to the following:

Video – Lawn weeds with purple flowers

Yard weeds with purple flowers

Purple Flowering Weeds

Creeping Charlie weeds with purple flowers

Creeping Charlie green leaves with purple blooms
Ground Ivy is known for spreading across gardens and quickly taking over your flower beds

Very common in Ohio, t is also called Ground Ivy and is scientifically known as Glechoma hederacea. This mauve flower has always been used for medicinal purposes including treating diarrhea, sinus problems, and bronchitis among other illnesses. It is found in yards, especially under the shades or along the spaces of the buildings.

Creeping Charlie Control – USDA

Quickly forms a matted growth, forcing out native vegetation and native plant species. Low-bearing flowers with four lobes and tubular shape.

Canada Thistle

Weed green leaves with mauve flowerette
Another type of thistle with lavender colored floret

Also called Creeping Thistle. This plant is scientifically known as Cirsium arvense and grows fast. It is an invasive weed that can reproduce through its vegetative shoots. As the name suggests, its origin is traced to Canada and has been useful in coagulating milk among other uses.

You can use a weed-pulling tool on it. but if the root snaps of, it’ll come again. This weeds can grow anywhere you’re not vigilant, from fallow fields to parking lots!

Canada Thistle – Purdue


Henbit weed with pinkish-purple flowers
Henbit is a common purple flowering weed

Scientifically known as Lamium amplexicaule. Some people would confuse Henbit for Deadnettle but these are different flowers. Henbit has pink to purple colors and the purple spots are darker as compared to that of Deadnettle. This weed grows in the fields and home gardens commonly in Kentucky and Tennessee, and also has edible leaves, stems, and flowers.

Henbit Control

Bittersweet Nightshade

Plum-colored Nightshade flowers

This weed comes from the same family as potatoes and tomatoes. Their stems are a bit hairy and the plant is considered poisonous. It grows in loose soil and is moderately invasive. To remove this weed, you need to dig it up and pull it out.

Bittersweet Nightshade Control – King County

Infographic – 5 purple flower weeds

Infographic - What are those purple weeds called?
What are the purple flower weeds in my yard?


Selfheal flower stalk
Some weeds have pretty blooms, like these delicate lavender petals of the plant ‘Selfheal’

Scientifically known as Prunella vulgaris. It is a wildflower and native to the United Kingdom. The flower grows in lawns, grasslands, and meadows. It is also a perennial and semi-evergreen flower that is edible, and has other medicinal uses as well.

These weeds bloom from June to October where you can begin to spot these purple flowers all over the place. Can easily take over garden beds if not controlled.

Purple Clover

Bed of Purple Clover with flowers
Purple Clover with purplish-pink flowers spreads quickly and is difficult to clear from your lawn

It is Scientifically known as Trifolium pratense and is a perennial weed that grows rapidly and yields purple flowers. There are other varieties that yield pink and red flowers as well. This flower can grow like a weed but is also planted for its fragrant and edible leaves.

What Are the Weeds with Purple Flowers Called?

There are several types of weed that grow in yards. During their flowering stage, you will notice different colors of flowers, mostly in the spring or fall. This is because most are dormant during winter and also in the hot weather of summer. Some of these weeds that produce purple colors include the ones in the table below:

Table – 4 Garden weeds with purple flowers and their scientific names

Common NameScientific NameOther details
Wild VioletViola labradoricaIs a perennial weed that blooms in mid-May and nearly all year-round when good care is taken and grows in all areas that have moist, fertile, and shady soil.
Canada thistleCirsium arvenseIt begins flowering from late May to mid-June. The plant spreads aggressively and can be toxic to animals if ingested in reasonable quantities.
Forget Me NotsMyosotis sylvaticaThese are perennial weeds that come back every year. They grow in rich moist soil and blooms from April to May with bluish-purple petals.
HenbitLamium amplexicauleThey bloom in the fall or the spring. It is an annual weed and hence does not come back to bloom year after year.

Most Common weeds in USA by State

  • Indiana – Crabgrass (Digitaria)
  • Illinois – Dandelion
  • Kentucky – Annual Bluegrass
  • Florida – Florida Beggarweed
  • Ney York State – Creeping Wood Sorrel
  • Ohio – Ground Ivy
  • Omaha – Yellow Sweetclover
  • Texas – Chickweed
  • Louisiana – Spotted Spurge
  • Mississippi – Jio
  • Missouri – Curly Dock
  • Montana – LEAFY SPURGE
  • Vermont – Smooth bedstraw
  • Virginia – Virginia buttonweed
  • Alabama – Dandelion
  • Arkansas – Crabgrass
  • Connecticut – Plantain
  • Delaware – Johnsongrass
  • Michigan – Common Lambsquarters
  • Georgia – Poa Annual
  • Tennesee – Clover
  • Colorado – Cypress spurge
  • Nevada – Cypress spurge

Weed Identification PDF – Iowa State University

Common Garden Weeds Colored Purple

The common garden weeds colored purple include Purple Clovers, Creeping Charlie, Purple Deadnettle, Wild Violets, Forget Me Not, and Bittersweet Nightshade (dark purple berries) among others. These are just some of the common ones that you can find around the world.

Purple Deadnettle Weeds with Purple Flowers

The purple flowers of the purple deadnettle are edible
Purple Deadnettle with light purple flowers and is identified in your garden by its square-shaped stem and triangular leaves

The Purple Deadnettle has its origin traced to Asia and Europe. It is an annual and invasive weed with purple flowers as the name puts it. The plant blooms in April or earlier depending on many factors including the climatic conditions.

The leaves of the Purple Deadnettle plant are edible and you can eat them raw. The flowers are also edible and with sweet floral tops. This makes it useful for making salads, teas, and soups among other dishes.

What Are the Tall Weeds with Purple Flowers Called?

Purple Loosestrife flowers in a field
Purple Loosestrife flowers grow on long stalks taller than a man

The Purple Loosestrife, scientifically known as the Lythrum salicaria is the tallest weed that has purple flowers. This weed is easily identifiable since it grows to about 6 – 10 feet tall. These flowers bloom from July through September and the flowers turn to seeds ready for the next growing cycle.

This weed grows in moist and good soils. It also thrives when it grows in full sun for blooming, but it does well in partial shade.

Another tall weed with purple flowers are Wildflowers. These grow to 2 feet tall and bloom in late summer to fall. That is May through to July.

However, there are many varieties or species of Windflowers and some grow to only 1 foot tall. Compared to other weeds that bear purple flowers, the Wildflower is one of the tallest.

Wildflowers thrive in full sun and they thus need at least 6 hours of sun exposure per day. They can also do pretty well partial shade. When it comes to soil conditions, the plant needs well-drained, quality soil.

Video roundup of purple yard weeds

Take a tour of the most common purple lawn and yard weeds

Wild Purple Flowers

There exist so many purple wildflowers including the Lupine, Domestic Lilac, Blue-eyed Mary, Common Phlox, Clarkia, Dagger Pod, Creeping Charlie, Midget Phlox, Bleeding Hearts, Selfheal, Clasping Henbit, and Nightshade among others.

The common ones that are found in almost all parts of the world include the Cobwebby Thistle, Bull Thistle, Musk Thistle, Fringed Onion, Pennyroyal, and Meadow Lupine.

Some of these wildflowers are annuals and bloom only once while others are perennials and thus bloom from year to year. Their flowering period is also during the warm seasons from spring through to fall.

Lawn Weeds with Purple Flowers

There are many plants with lovely flowers growing on lawns. Below are some with purple flowers.

Wild Violet Flower (Viola Odorata)

Signature purple flowers of Wild Violets
Pretty weeds that grow purple flowers – Wild Violets

Wild violets are tiny perennial plants with delicate stems, waxy leaves, and small purple flowers. While these weeds may look attractive on your lawn, beware that they can overgrow and overtake the entire space. They are self-pollinators, aggressive, and extremely spreading.

Below are some facts about wild violet flowering weeds:

  • It is a North American native weed, extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains.
  • They spread through rhizomes and seeds.
  • Its flowers and young leaves are edible.
  • Their seeds attract ants, which in turn increase the spread of these weeds.
  • Early settlers and Native Americans use wild violet medicinally, to treat insect bites, for example.
  • They bloom in early spring and prefer shady areas
  • They grow on lawns and roadsides.

Since the seeds are hard to germinate, the best way to grow them is to spread and allow them to germinate naturally. However, if you want to germinate them yourself, you must soak the seeds in warm water for at least 24 hours.

In addition, these seeds need at least one to two months of cold stratification period. Therefore, it is advisable to leave them outside all winter to break their dormancy.

Wild violet flowers need the following conditions:

  • It thrives best in full sun but can survive partial shade.
  • It requires medium to moist soil.
  • It grows best in black fertile soil, but it can tolerate some clay.

Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea)

Perennial bloomer Violet wood sorrel
Violet wood sorrel have purple or purplish-pink flowers

It is a bulbous flowering perennial native to North America. It has dark-green leaves and flaunts pinkish-purple blooms with a green center from mid-spring to early summer. It bears the flowers in clusters of 4-19 blooms at the tip of the slender stems. The clove-like leaves form lovely foliage as they fold to display their reddish-purple underneath.

The following are interesting facts about Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea):

  • They grow on lawns, woodland gardens, and prairie restorations – virtually any natural areas
  • They grow about 6-10 inches tall and 15-25cm wide and spread quickly to form large colonies.
  • They are virtually disease and pest-free.
  • They are toxic to horses, cats, and dogs.
  • They are perfect for rock gardens and border fronts.
  • They attract birds and can tolerate dry soil.

Violet Wood Sorrel grow best in the following conditions:

  • They appreciate partial to full sun.
  • They require low maintenance and low to average water.
  • Alkaline, acid, or neutral well-drained loam or sandy soils.
  • They grow best in hardiness zones 5-9.

These plants can grow up to 15-25 cm in height and width. Due to their vigorous spreading, it is advisable to spread them about 25cm apart.

Morning Glory (Ipomoea)

Flower heads of Morning Glory
The light purple flowers of Morning Glory

It is an exotic annual climbing vine with luminous heart-shaped foliage and lovely purple-blue trumpet-like blooms. The 5-7cm flowers open in the morning to display their white throats and close in the hot afternoon, hence the name “morning glory. They produce new blooms daily and continue flowering from early summer to early fall.

Morning glory is the best flowering plant to grow on your lawn if you want a fast-growing climber with lovely flowers. Check out its amazing facts below:

  • It is deer-resistant but attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • It is an annual vine that can twine its delicate stems up to 6-10ft tall and 3-6ft wide in a single season.
  • It requires support to climb walls and lawn fences.
  • It is perfect for growing in containers, hanging baskets, and as a groundcover.
  • It is disease and pest-free.
  • It is best grown in hardiness zones 2-11.

Morning glory grows best in the following environmental conditions:

  • Moist but well-drained Alkaline, acidic, or neutral clay, loam, chalk, or sand.
  • Full sun exposure.
  • It requires low maintenance and average water.

Yard Weeds with Purple Flowers

Most yard weeds are biennial hence grow best in undisturbed places, they do not survive in cultivated. The following are the most common types.

Common Burdock (Arctium minus)

Common Burdock - native varieties of thistle family
Common Burdock flower heads are also seed heads

Common Burdock grows best in calm soils that can go up to a year without disturbances such as cultivation. It thrives best in areas such as yards, open woodlands, waste places, pastures, abandoned fields, fence rows, and river banks. These plants hinder the growth of other plants around them due to their large leaves that block light from reaching ground level.

Below are Common Burdock’s amazing facts and features:

  • The stems can be angular or grooved and are course and reddish.
  • A mature plant grows up to 3 meters tall.
  • The leaves are large and heart-shaped; they shade out smaller plants. The leaves are dark-green on top and woolly underneath with wavy edges.
  • It bears beautiful purple flowers on short stalks along the stems.
  • It produces seeds from July all through fall.

While these plants can make your yard appear attractive, their overspreading can cause a nuisance. Suppose you would like to prevent its spread, below are some tips to prevent its spread:

  • Encourage desirable competing plants.
  • Prevent the production of the burred seed.
  • Remove burred seed from animals and clothes to stop further spreading.

Dame’s Violet (Hesperis matronalis)

Biennial weed - Dame's Violet
Dame’s Violet can grow on waste ground, drainage ditches and any small areas with rich soil

Dame’s violet, also known as Dame’s Rocket, or dame’s gillyflower is a perennial herb that can sometimes grow as a biennial in yards and gardens. A mature plant, usually 16-32 inches has a roughly-haired and unbranched stem until inflorescence. It has short-stalked basal leaves with serrated margins, usually hairy.

Check the plant’s interesting facts below:

  • It bears purple-red-white flowers of about 0.6 inches in width.
  • It grows up to 100 cm tall and 45cm wide.
  • It attracts bees, butterflies, moths, and other pollinators.
  • The flowers have a lovely fragrance and contain nectar.
  • It blooms from May to August.

While Dame’s Violet mostly grows naturally, you can choose to grow it in your yard under the following conditions:

  • Partial shade, dappled shade, or full sun exposure.
  • Well-drained, light, sandy soils.

With its beautiful scent, especially in the evening, Dame’s Violet is excellent for a wildlife garden scheme or a cottage garden. If you do not wish to plant the seeds again, you can allow some flowers to mature and self-seed.

Dove’s-Foot Crane’s-Bill (Geranium molle)

Geranium molle thrives in unsavory habitat
Dove’s Foot Crane’s Bill has medicinal properties relating to skin and muscle problems

It is an invasive species that bears purple flowers and native to Europe. It has wide-lobed leaves and its flowers have five petals. It is an overwintering herb with a strong and deep tap root. It flaunts the following features and interesting facts:

  • A mature plant can be 2-10 inches tall.
  • It has multiple reddish stems that can be erect to ascending.
  • The purple flowers can be 5-8 mm broad.
  • These plants grow best in yards, ruins, cobbly soils, waste places, banks, dry, and rocky soils.
  • They bloom from June to September.

If you want to clear the plant completely from your yard, ensure to uproot it without cutting the taproot. You can pull it out by hand or dig it out with a shovel. In addition, remove all the flowers and seeds before they can mature and spread in your yard. Dispose of the dead plant and plant parts in a plastic bag to prevent it from spreading or re-sprouting. Moreover, if you want to enjoy some of its beautiful flowers, you can control where it grows and prevent their spread.

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

Ground covering weed with purple flowers
Another weed with small purple flowers, Spotted Knapweed is very common in the USA

Spotted Knapweed is a short-lived perennial or biennial plant of the sunflower family. It spreads aggressively and it is considered the most dominant weed in the Western United States. It grows with multiple stems with alternate blue-grey leaves that are lobed in the lower and unlobed in the upper parts of the stem.

It bears pink to purple flowers; sometimes they can be cream with black-tipped bracts that give it a spotted appearance. The following are some interesting facts:

  • A mature plant grows about 3 to 5 ft. tall.
  • Its life cycle can be biennial or short-lived perennial.
  • It blooms from June to November.
  • It is common in yards and dry areas including gravel sites, rocky gardens, roadsides, pastures and meadows. It can also invade and survive in gravel or sandy floodplains.
  • It is a prolific seed producer with extremely high spreading speed; it produces 100 seeds per plant.
  • Its seeds can stay in the ground for up to 8 years.
  • It is native to Europe but widely spread across the United States and Canada.

Please note that excessive invasion by Spotted Knapweed hinders the growth of other plants and poses animal hazards. Therefore, you control its spreading by removing young flowers and seeds before they mature.

Ground Cover Weeds with Purple Flowers

Purple-flowering plants make excellent groundcovers, especially if they are fast-spreading. The following are some excellent groundcover weeds with purple flowers.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)

Purple flower garden weeds
The flowering purple weeds known as Hedge Woundwort

It is a malodorous perennial with toothed, fuzzy leaves. It primarily bears purple flowers with white marks, but can sometimes produce pink or white blooms. Check out the following characteristics and interesting facts about this weed.

  • A mature plant can grow up to 3 ft. tall and 1.33 to 4 ft. wide.
  • It is a perfect perennial groundcover.
  • It is low-spreading and requires low maintenance.
  • The flowers are unique, erect, and showy.
  • It has medium leaves and fragrant foliage.
  • It is resistant to deer.
  • It blooms from mid-summer to early fall.
  • It thrives in hardiness zones 5-8.

If you want to grow Hedge Woundwort as ground cover for your garden, you must provide the following conditions.

  • Partial shade to full sun.
  • Clay or Loamy soils of 5.5 to 6.5 pH.
  • Normal to moist soil.

Insufficient sunlight can cause the plants to lose color and become pale. In addition, waterlogging can result in the wilting of leaves. Therefore, if the ground where you want to grow ground cover is waterlogged, you may consider underground drainage.

Common Forget Me Not (Myosotis sylvatica)

Blue Forget Me Nots
Bluish-purple Forget-me-not

Common Forget-Me-Not is an ornamental ground cover that grows as a biennial. It produces beautiful purple flowers, though other colors may exist, depending on the species. It has a medium growth rate and hairy stems. It reseeds readily, hence it is considered invasive.

The following are interesting facts about Common Forget-Me-Not:

  • A mature plant can grow up to 1 ft. in height and width; it can be shorter than that.
  • It is native to Europe and thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 8.
  • It blooms in spring and summer.
  • It is a perfect groundcover for cottage gardens, rocky gardens, Porsche, patios, and woodland gardens.

The following are the ideal environmental conditions for growing Myosotis sylvatica:

  • Partial to full sun exposure.
  • Moist, well-drained mildly alkaline, mildly acidic, or neutral soil.
  • It tolerates wet soil.
  • Due to its wide zone coverage, it can withstand hot or cold conditions well.

Although this plant tolerates many conditions, extremely hot and humid summers may cause mildew disease. In addition, since it is self-seeding, it is advisable to control its growth so that it does not invade the entire garden.

Bird Vetch (Vicia cracca)

Bird Vetch pink purple blooms
Bird Vetch has pretty pinkish-purple florets

Bird Vetch is a perennial cover crop of the pea family and is native to Europe and Asia. It grows naturally on roadsides, old fields, waste places, and gardens. However, it is particularly a ground cover crop in North America.

The following are the Bird Vetch plant’s identification features and facts:

  • It has multiple stems that can be trailing, branching, or climbing up to 2 M long.
  • Its leaves contain between 12 and 24 leaflets.
  • It flaunts beautiful pea-like flowers with a purplish hue on one side of the stem.
  • The flowers produce seedpods with 4 to 8 seeds that are viable for five to seven years.

Bird Vetch can change soil conditions due to Nitrogen fixation. However, it can hinder the successful growth of other plants – a wide spreading larger infestation competes for light, moisture, and nutrients. Furthermore, it is popular for invading undisturbed natural habitats including spruce forests.

Therefore, if you want to prevent the excessive spread, the following tips will help:

  • Cutting off the plant is the most effective way since the plant does not re-sprout. However, you must remove all roots to ensure that it does not regrow from the ground.
  • Consider trimming and mowing before the seed set since it is mostly spread through seeds.
  • Avoid planting it in your garden unless it is where you want it for groundcover.

It is difficult to eradicate, but, controlling its spread can make effort easier.

Other considerations:

It’s also possible to control weeds by the organic method, which mostly entails growing plant varieties in harmony with other varieties, but this takes time and is slower than using herbicides.

Well-fed grass tends to be thicker and leave less room for invasive plants, which is all due to a lawn car plan. However, if you install an irrigation system, the conditions may be just right for opportunists to take a hold.

A regularly cut lawn won’t be prone to invasion by climbing plants, but these can also crawl along the ground – don’t give them a chance by mowing the grass often.

Some species of weeds are easier to spot than others. Black Nightshade and Poison Ivy, for example, is easier to see than Bermuda Grass. Low-growing mat types of weeds such as Crabgrass are particularly difficult to eradicate completely.

Some weeds have fruits ranging from green berries to bright red or purple. Most berries from weeds are toxic to animals and humans.

Key Points Video

Video identifying the main purple flowering weeds found in yards and lawns

FAQ related to purple weeds in your lawn

Are purple weeds poisonous?

It’s probably not true that all purple flowered weeds are poisonous, but the vast majority should be treated as such. Some plants give you a good indication of their toxicity by their name, Deadly Nightshade, for instance, while other sound quite harmless. Basic rule of thumb is ‘don’t trust any of them’!

How to remove weeds from lawn permanently

There’s a hard way and an easy way. You can go round and pull them up by the roots, but if you have a major infestation of various species, this is a long arduous job with no guaranteed results.

You could treat the whole lawn with a Selective Herbicide. This type of herbicide uses 2-4D as the Active Ingredient and should the grass unharmed.

Do weeds grow all year round?

Most weeds become stronger in the spring, which is the time to tackle them. If left until Summer, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. Treat the lawn in late winter, so the spring growth spurt will suck up a herbicide treatment and poison the roots.

Creeping Charlie is probably the most common purple flower weed in the US, with Creeping Thistle and Purple Deadnettle a close second and third.

What is the most common purple lawn weed?

Other resources related to Purple Flower Yard Weeds

11 Weeds With Purple Flowers: Identification and Pictures

Weeds with Purple Flowers (Common Lawn Weed Guide)

Illustrated Guide To WeedsSource

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