What is the plant
African Turnip Weed (Sisymbrium runcinatum) is an annual herb that grows up to 50 cm tall. The stems arise from a basal rosette of leaves and either lie flat against the ground or grow obliquely upwards. The basal leaves are deeply and jaggedly lobed with the lobe tips pointing backwards to the leaf base.
The upper leaves are similar in appearance to the basal leaves but diminish in size along the stems. The flowers occur in long, loosely-flowered racemes (elongated stem with flowers produced along its length). There is a small, leaf-like bract occurring just below each flower.
The flowers consist of four, white to yellow petals with each petal up to 3.5 mm long. The fruits are long and narrow (1-3.5 cm long, 1-2 mm wide) and densely hairy. The short stalks that attach the fruits to the stem are held erect, causing the base of the fruits to be pressed against the stem. The seeds are small (about 1 mm diameter)
This plant might be poisonous
How to get rid of:
Pulling weeds by hand is time-consuming, back-breaking work. An alternative is to use gardening tools to help. For shallow-rooted weeds, you can use a regular garden hoe, but for deep-rooted ones, I recommend you use a special tool called a winged weeder.
To remove weeds with the winged weeder, place the bottom tip of the blade right next to the stem and press down vertically to push the blade into the soil and then tilt the weeder downwards towards the ground to pull the whole root out. Repeat this operation as necessary.
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