IDENTIFICATION — Growing 6 to 18 in. tall, Pennsylvania pellitory has leaves with slightly fuzzy undersides. Click the image to see a foliage detail. At first glance, this spring weed’s narrow upright form looks broader because the plant often grows in dense colonies. The green flowers along the main stems have no petals and are barely noticeable.
FAVORITE CONDITIONS — Although it prefers part shade, you’ll find Pennsylvania pellitory in full sun if the soil never dries out. It reseeds rampantly, especially in areas that are tilled annually.
CONTROL — The shallow, fibrous roots are easy to pull or hoe out. (Check out our favorite hand hoe.) If you miss pulling a few weeds, red admiral butterfly caterpillars will enjoy eating the leaves. But herbicides are effective if you need to eradicate large stands of this annual.
Read about more spring weeds in the April issue of Garden Gate magazine. On newsstands now!