What Does Carpetweed Look Like?

You may be like many homeowners who take pleasure in caring for your lawn and garden. If this is the case, then what do you do when you come across an unknown weed? How can you tell whether it’s a problem to your plants?

Today, we’ll take a look at one weed that is frequently found in backyards and often goes overlooked: Carpetweed. Carpetweed often grows densely in large clusters, and can be tricky to remove. Keep reading to learn more about this invasive weed and how to get rid of it!

So, what does carpetweed look like? Let’s get reading and find out!

What is Carpetweed?

The common name Carpetweed refers to the weed Mollugo verticillata, which is also known as Indian Chickweed. It originally grew in the tropical regions of North and South America, but it has since spread to many other temperate places around the world, including Europe and Africa.

Carpetweed is an edible weed that has been consumed for food as well as medicinal purposes for hundreds of years, although it isn’t very widely eaten anymore. On the other hand, it is considered an invasive weed by the USDA, although not on the European continent.

Where Does Carpetweed Grow?

You must first determine how and where carpetweed grows in order to figure out if it has taken over your lawn.

Carpetweed is a weed that grows in tropical regions. It’s originally from the tropics, but it has also spread to temperate zones and can now be found in all states of the United States, with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah, as well as all major southern Canadian provinces.

It thrives in moist environments and soil, although it can also grow in disturbed soil habitats such as fields and meadows, parking lots and roadsides, and lawns and gardens. It grows by crawling across the ground and ending up with a large mat of its foliage, which is why it’s called “carpet”-weed.

It spreads via seed dissemination, with its reddish-brown seeds carried by the wind or animals, and can rapidly infests flowerbeds and other parts of your yard.

How to Identify Carpetweed

It is critical to inspect any weeds you find first, before eliminating them. Once you identify the weed, then you can get to work at removing it or cultivating it, transplanting it, or keeping it.

Visual Characteristics 

To quickly identify Carpetweed, look for a greenish-brown stem with white flowers that grow close together along it. The leaves are long, thin, and cylindrical, and have a vivid green color; they somewhat resemble arrows.

The flowers are tiny white or greenish-white balls on top of single stems, and are usually in clusters of 2 – 5. Each flower has 5 sepals around it that function as petals, although the real petals are too small to be seen. The small fruit develop within a few days to several weeks. They are around 1.5–4 mm long and have an egg-shaped shape. The seeds are 0.5 mm long, reddish brown in coloration, and resemble tiny raisins.

It’s possible that the weed may be difficult to spot, due to the fact that there are no blooms or stalks that reach up a foot or higher to catch your attention. The circular mat it produces can reach two feet in diameter, however, so it is a rather big weed that would be difficult to overlook if you’re looking for it on your lawn.

Growth Stages

Carpetweed germinates late in the spring, and the flowers bloom between July and September. The dehiscent capsule, where the seed fruit is held, opens when the Carpetweed plant is fully mature.

Other Unique Traits

Carpetweed is an edible plant that has been utilized historically as a vegetable or for medicinal benefits, due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

Plants That Look Like Carpetweed

Carpetweed is mistaken for weeds like the bedstraws (Galium spp., such as the sweet woodruff; G. odorata, or native catchweed bedstraw; G. aparine, among others), plants the also sprawl prostrate over the ground, and have whorled leaves and white blooming flowers.

However, the flowers of these species are different, as they only have 4 petals around each flower, rather than the 5 that Carpetweed has. They also frequently have furry, not smooth leaves and are more commonly found growing less close to the ground.

How to Get Rid of Carpetweed

Carpetweed is fairly easy to kill in multiple different ways, be it with chemical weed killers or through organic methods.

The best approach to eliminate this weed is to spray it with a glyphosate-based herbicide. Although it’s a post-emergent herbicide, you may use either a pre-emergent or post-emergent weed killer. The only way to know for sure whether carpetweed can be killed by it is by reading the label.

Carpetweed lacks the leaves required to compete with other more robust weeds like dandelions or clover, so if the root systems are small, it may just be pulled out by hand. This is easiest when the ground is wet or moist, so wait for a day after rain. You can either pull it out using your hands or a spade or garden hoe.

If you’re pulling out the weed by hand, do so before it blooms in the spring to avoid spreading the seeds. The ideal moment to apply an herbicide is when the carpetweed is in bloom since it is more susceptible to weed killer during this time.


Carpetweed is a weed that can be found all over the United States. It is an invasive weed that grows prostrate on the ground in large patches. Carpetweed can be tough to eliminate, but there are a few strategies to assist you and make the process easier.

The first step in any circumstance is to ensure that your lawn has Carpetweed, not some other weed, which is why you need to learn how to identify it and which visual features distinguish it.

We hope this article has shed some light on carpetweed, its growth patterns, and similar weeds. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments below. Check out our other articles on weeds and gardening for more information!