WSU Extension


Weeds : Flixweed : Descurainia sophia
(revision date: 4/7/2021)

Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Cycle: Annual
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Seedling flixweed plants consist of a low-growing rosette of finely divided, fern-like leaves from a taproot. Mature plants are upright, reaching one to three feet high. Fern-like leaves are alternate along the stem. Leaves may be hairless or have branching hairs. The stem is sometimes branched in the upper portion, with flowering and seed production occurring on the terminal portions of the upright branches. Small, greenish-yellow flowers are found at the tips of the branches, while the narrow, elongate seed pods are most mature at the bottom of the branches. The slender pods typically reach about an inch in length and contain two rows of tiny seeds. The pods are borne on stems which are shorter than the pods. Seed pods split lengthwise at maturity.
Flixweed grows along roadsides, in fields, gardens, and waste places, and in other disturbed sites.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Hand-pull to eliminate weeds.
  • Careful digging is useful to manage weed populations. However, digging can carry undesirable weed seed to the surface and foster further germination.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Not a problem in healthy established turf. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
Turf areas
    Bare ground areas
    • glyphosate
    • products containing 2,4-D
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    Caption: Flixweed stem and flower head
    Photo by: J.A. Kropf
    Caption: Flixweed rosette
    Photo by: Unknown