11 Weeds With Attractive Yellow Flowers: Hidden gems and repeat offenders.

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Brock Ingham
Brock Ingham

Have you ever found hidden treasures in your garden? Last summer, my daughter and I had a good reason to let wild strawberry plants with yellow flowers creep across our neatly planted plot. It’s kind of like when you welcome a surprise guest with a smile, even if they come unexpectedly.

Garden Loosestrife weed with yellow flowers
Garden Loosestrife weed with yellow flowers

If you’re not familiar with wild strawberries, you might easily mistake them for common weeds. While they may not be as sweet as regular strawberries, they provided us with a valuable lesson in patience and exploration.

Many weeds with yellow flowers in this list fall into the same category. If given enough time and attention can leave you delightfully surprised. Let’s re-define what a weed is because most flowers we see are not always a nuisance.


1. Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

Yellow Sorrel
Yellow sorrel leaves can be used as a pH indicator for your soil

Yellow sorrel, also known as yellow wood sorrel or oxalis stricta, is a flowering weed plant that boasts attractive yellow blooms. Despite its invasive nature, many gardeners choose to keep it in their gardens because of its bright and cheerful appearance. I’ve often mistaken these as clovers growing in my garden.

Along with being a pest repellant, Yellow sorrel can even be used as a pH indicator. The color of its leaves can change in response to the pH level of the soil it grows in.

Botanical Name:Oxalis stricta
Spread Rate: 12 inches
Native Range: North America 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 4-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Blooming Season:June-October
Notable Qualities:Used to repel pests and monitor soil pH
Yellow Sorrel Growing Guide Chart

2. Yellow Toadflax (Linaria Vulgaris)

Yellow
Yellow Toadflax

Yellow Toadflax is a weed plant that boasts stunning yellow and orange flowers. While it is considered an invasive species in many parts of the United States, its beautiful blooms have made it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a pop of color to their landscaping.

However, it is important to note that Yellow Toadflax can spread quickly and compete with native plant species, so it should be carefully monitored and managed to prevent it from taking over. If you see this weed pop up on your lawn, get rid of it quickly!

Personally, I hate using chemical weed control, it’s nasty stuff that I don’t want anywhere near my kids and pets. For this reason, I stick with the manual method of removing Toadflax. Dig down at the base of the weed and look for the lateral root, this is the point where the weed is behind to spread. Cut out the weed and throw it in the city compost bin or your own hot pile of compost that will damage any potential seeds.

Botanical Name:Linaria vulgaris 
Spread Rate: 1-3 feet per year depending on growing conditions
Native Range: Europe and Asia 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 3-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Well-drained soil 
Blooming Season:June-August
Notable Qualities:Often used as a yellow dye in textiles
Yellow Toadflax Growing Guide Chart

3. Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

Yellow Nutsedge
Yellow Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge, also known as yellow nutgrass, is a weed plant with bright yellow flowers that can add a splash of color to your lawn or garden. However, this plant is notoriously difficult to get rid of due to its extensive root system and ability to regenerate from even small fragments left in the soil.

If you’re looking for a new plant to forage, Nutsedge has an incredible taste that’s reminiscent of a raw almond. Try mixing with some hot coco and cinnamon for a tasty forest forage treat.

Botanical Name:Cyperus esculentus 
Growth Rate: Rapid Growth: Up to 6 inches per week
Native Range: North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 7-11
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Prefers moist soil
Blooming Season:June-October
Notable Qualities:Difficult to control, spreads quickly through underground tubers. Able to outcompete other plants in waterlogged soil.
Yellow Nutsedge Growing Guide Chart

4. Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris)

Yellow Rocket
Yellow Rocket

Yellow Rocket, also known as Barbarea vulgaris, is a weed plant that produces striking yellow flowers in the spring and early summer. While it may add a pop of color to your garden, Yellow Rocket is known for being invasive and can quickly take over if not controlled.

However, it does have some practical uses, you might have heard the word “rocket” before when picking greens to grow in your garden. That’s because Yellow Rocket is part of that same family line of brassicas. The leaves can be sauteed or eaten raw for their mustard-like flavor.

Botanical Name:Barbarea vulgaris 
Growth Rate: 12-17 inches per year
Native Range: Europe, Asia, and North America 
Hardiness Zones:5-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Requires moist, nutrient-rich soil
Bloom season:April-June
Notable Qualities:Edible flowers
Yellow Rocket Growing Guide Chart

5. Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)

Yellow Salsify
Yellow Salsify

Yellow Salsify, also known as Tragopogon dubius, is a weed plant that produces beautiful yellow flowers that resemble dandelions or little yellow daisies.

It is also edible and has a sweet, nutty flavor that can be used in salads or cooked as a vegetable. If you’re not in a foraging mood, leave the seeds plants intact as they go to seed to provide a treat for nearby birds to feed.

Botanical Name:Tragopogon dubius 
Growth Rate: 12-24 inches per year until going to seed
Native Range: Europe and Asia 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 3-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Requires well-drained and sandy loam soil 
Bloom season:May-June
Notable Qualities:Expect first-year plants to be vegetative, flowers will be produced in year 2.
Yellow Salsify Growing Guide

6. Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

Creeping Buttercup
Creeping Buttercup

Creeping Buttercup, also known as Ranunculus repens, is a weed plant with bright yellow flowers that can add a pop of color to your garden or lawn. While it may be visually appealing, Creeping Buttercup can be difficult to control and can spread rapidly.

In fact, buttercups are listed on the invasive species list in North America and New Zealand. As bright and cheerful as these flowers seem, it’s best to not let them run loose in your garden.

Botanical Name:Ranunculus repens 
Growth Rate: 1 foot
Native Range: Europe, Western Asia, North Africa 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 4-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Needs: Moist soils with good drainage 
Bloom season:May to August
Notable Qualities:Useful as a ground cover plant
Creeping Buttercup Growing Guide Chart

7. Garden Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris)

Garden Loosestrife
Garden Loosestrife

Garden Loosestrife, also known as Lysimachia vulgaris, is a weed plant with beautiful yellow flowers that can add a burst of color to your garden. However, it can be invasive and difficult to control, spreading quickly through underground rhizomes.

It is essential to manage Garden Loosestrife carefully to prevent it from taking over and outcompeting other plants.

Botanical Name:Lysimachia vulgaris 
Growth Rate: 10-24 inches per year
Native Range: Europe and Asia 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 4-8
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Requires well-drained and moist soil 
Blooming time:April to September
Notable Qualities:Thrives in consistently damp to wet soil, and grows well near ponds.
Garden Loosestrife Growing Guide Chart

8. Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)

Grass leaved Goldenrod
Grass-leaved Goldenrod

Grass-leaved Goldenrod, also known as Euthamia graminifolia, is a native North American weed plant that produces clusters of bright yellow flowers in the late summer and early fall.

While it may be considered a weed by some, it is an important source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Botanical Name:Euthamia graminifolia 
Growth Rate: 3-4 feet 
Native Range: North America 
Hardiness Zones:3-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Needs: Prefers well-drained soil 
Blooming PeriodJune-September
Notable Qualities:Used to restore natural habitats and prevent soil erosion
Grass-leaved Goldenrod Growing Guide

9. Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Common Evening Primrose
Common Evening Primrose

Common Evening Primrose, or Oenothera biennis, is a bright and beautiful yellow perennial that produces showy yellow flowers that bloom at night. Despite being considered a weed, primrose produces loveley little seeds that can be roasted or eaten raw.

However, its spreading nature and ability to take over garden beds make it a difficult plant to control, and many gardeners opt to remove it from their gardens.

Botanical Name:Oenothera biennis 
Growth Rate: 6 feet
Native Range: North America 
Hardiness Zones:Zone: 3-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Prefers well-drained soil
Blooming Period:June-September
Notable Qualities:Biennial Plant that blooms during the second year of growth, produces small edible seeds.
Common Evening Primrose Growing Guide

10. Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

Birds Foot Trefoil
Bird’s Foot Trefoil

Bird’s Foot Trefoil is a hardy weed plant that features vibrant yellow flowers that attract bees and butterflies. It is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in poor soil and is often used in erosion control.

Its delicate, fern-like foliage adds an interesting texture to gardens, making it a popular choice among gardeners who appreciate its unique appearance.

Botanical Name:Lotus corniculatus 
Growth Rate: 2 Feet 
Native Range: Europe and Asia 
Hardiness Zones:3-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Prefers well-drained soil
Blooming Period:June-July
Notable Qualities:Used to control and prevent soil erosion
Bird’s Foot Trefoil Growing Guide Chart

11. Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)

Black Medic
Black Medic

The flowering plant known as black medic (Medicago lupulina) is a member of the Fabaceae family of legumes. It is also referred to as “hop medic” or “black clover.” This biennial plant grows up to 60cm tall and has small yellow flowers that bloom from May to October. 

In lawns, gardens, and agricultural fields, black medic is frequently seen as a weed, but it can also be grown for livestock fodder. It can grow in a variety of soil types, including poor, compacted, or drought-prone soils, and has a shallow root system. Another property of black medic is its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, which helps surrounding plants.

Botanical Name:Medicago lupulina 
Growth Rate: 2 Feet 
Native Range: Europe, Asia, and North Africa 
Hardiness Zones:2-10
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade 
Soil Needs: Prefers well-drained soil
Blooming Period:May to October
Notable Qualities: Improves soil quality through nitrogen-fixing fungus
Black Medic Growing Guide Chart

Final Thoughts

While these 11 weeds with attractive yellow flowers may have a reputation as unwanted invaders, they can also bring a bright pop of color and even some benefits to your garden or landscape. 

Whether you choose to embrace them or remove them, it’s always worth taking a closer look at the beauty that surrounds us in nature. So, next time you’re out and about, keep an eye out for these sunny yellow blooms and appreciate the beauty that they bring to the world around us.

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4 Comments

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