29 Tall Weeds with Yellow Flowers

29 Tall Weeds with Yellow Flowers

Have you ever stopped in a field of yellow flowers to take a dreamy picture? Chances are, these yellow flowers grew out of weeds! 

That said, an instagrammable photo for one is, on the other hand, a headache to gardeners and farmers. 

Here is a comprehensive list of tall weeds with yellow flowers to help you recognize them the next time you see one. 

1. Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

Scientific NameLinaria vulgaris
Common NameCommon toadflax, yellow toadflax, butter-and-eggs, wild snapdragon
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerBright yellow flowers in crowded terminal clusters
LeavesLance-shaped, stalklessGrows in an alternate manner

The Yellow Toadflax is a perennial weed that thrives on disturbed and cultivated land and roads. It is native to Europe, Central Asia, Siberia, and North America. 

The leaves of Linaria vulgaris are lance-shaped, stalkless, and pointed on both ends. 

During mid-summer and mid-autumn, the yellow toadflax produces bright yellow flowers with an orange spot on its lower lip. 

However, it is a noxious weed as it contains glucoside that causes livestock poisoning. 

2. Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)

Scientific NameEuthamia graminifolia
Common NameGrass-leaved goldenrod, flat-top golden top
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerShiny yellow flowers in rounded flat top clusters
LeavesGreen, long Grows in an alternate manner along the stem

The grass-leaved goldenrod is a perennial weed indigenous to North America, Europe, and Asia. 

It has a thin and long stem that grows up to 1.2 meters. 

During late summer to early fall, it produces clusters of shiny yellow flowers on the upper side of its stems. 

3. Sow Thistle (Sonchus arvensis)

Scientific NameSonchus arvensis
Common NameField milk thistle, field sowthistle, corn sow thistle, gutweed, swine thistle
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerYellow ray flowers in clustered heads
LeavesLarge, alternate and lobedEmit milky sap when cut

The sow thistle is a perennial weed commonly found in Europe. It adapts to various environments – from lakes, marshes, and beaches, to woodlands, lawns, and fields.

It first develops a basal rosette. The lower leaves then grow into five lobes with prickly teeth in an alternate manner. 

As the sow thistle matures, the midvein of the leaves thickens which contains a milky sap.

This plant has an erect, herbaceous stem with smooth ridges on the outside and a milky sap on the inside. 

The sow thistle produces bright yellow ray flowers in clustered heads. 

Unfortunately, it is considered a noxious weed because once it emerges, it causes crop yield losses to farmers. 

4. Skeleton weed (Chondrilla juncea)

Scientific NameChondrilla juncea
Common Nameskeleton weed, devil’s grass, gum succory, naked weed
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerDaisy-like yellow flowers
LeavesSharply-lobed leaves

Skeleton weed is a perennial weed native to the temperate regions of North Africa, Asia, and Europe. 

It is usually mistaken for dandelions because of its basal rosette of leaves. But as it develops, its main flower and leafless stem branch out. 

Skeleton weed flowers, which are small and daisy-like, grow on the side and at the top of the stem during summer and fall. 

It’s a headache in agricultural fields because it competes with water and nutrients against other plants. 

5. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Scientific NameHypericum perforatum
Common NameSt. John’s Wort
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerYellow flower with 5 petalsBlack dots scattered on the surfaceYellow stamens visible in the center of the flower
LeavesYellow-green leaves with translucent dotsNarrow, rounded tips

St. John’s Wort is a perennial weed that thrives in the temperate regions of South Africa, Australia, America, Europe, Asia.

It has been used as a natural treatment for wounds, burns, anxiety, and even depression. In some cultures, this plant is used to ward off evil spirits. 

Its upright reddish stems grow up to a meter tall. On top of it, bright yellow flowers emerge between late spring and mid-summer. 

St. John’s Wort flowers each have 5 yellow petals with black dots, and yellow stamens emerging from the center. 

On the other hand, its leaves do not have stalks but possess scattered translucent dots on their yellow-green surface. 

6. Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum)

Scientific NameSpartium junceum
Common NameSpanish broom, rush broom
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerFragrant pea-like flowers
LeavesOval, elongated and smooth-edged

The Spanish broom is a perennial weed native to the climate of the Mediterranean region. 

It is found in the wetlands, grasslands, and roadsides of northwest Africa, southern Europe, and southwest Asia. 

The Spartium junceum has a soft, green, and cylindrical long stem. 

On both sides of the main stem, a cluster of fragrant pea-like flowers bloom from late spring up to early summer. 

7. Garden Loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris)

Scientific NameLysimachia vulgaris
Common Namegarden loosestrife, yellow loosestrife
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerClusters of yellow flowers
LeavesLance-shapedWith soft hairs

The Garden Loosetrife is a perennial weed indigenous to the moist stream banks, wetlands and shorelines southeast of Europe. 

It blooms during the summer, producing dense clusters of yellow flowers on top of an upright and hairy stalk. 

8. Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)

Scientific NameJacobaea vulgaris
Common NameRagwort, common ragwort, Jacobaea, tansy ragwort, benweed, staggerwort, dog standard, cankerwort, stammerwort
Weed TypeBiennial weed
FlowerYellow flowers that grow in clustersProduces 2,500 flowers in its lifetime
LeavesDark greenEar-like lobesDistinct unpleasant odor

The ragwort is a biennial weed native to northern Europe and Asia. It thrives on dry and open areas like roadsides, trails, and pastures.

It is a noxious wildflower known for having toxic compounds that cause sickness to livestock. 

Just like other tall weeds, the ragwort begins with a basal rosette which turns into an upright stem with a dense cluster of yellow flowers at the top. It can grow up to 2 meters. 

One ragwort plant can produce up to 2,500 yellow flowers in its lifetime. They produce nectar that feeds thousands of pollinating insects. 

9. Butterweed (Packera glabella)

Scientific NamePackera glabella
Common NameButterweed, cress leaf groundsel, or yellowtop
Weed TypeAnnual weed
FlowerDaisy-like flowers
LeavesGreen, alternate, pinnate leaves with large terminal leaflets

Butterweed is an annual weed native to places with high humidity in central and southeast North America. 

It is commonly found emerging in large clusters in roadsides, streams, forests, swamps, ponds, and agricultural fields.

In its early years, butterweed first grows basal leaves until it becomes a hollow stalk with yellow daisy-looking flowers at the top. Butterweed blooms from April to June. 

However, the leaves and other parts of this plant contain a toxic chemical called alkaloids. These cause liver damage to whoever ingests them. 

10. Wintercress (Barbarea vulgaris)

Scientific NameBarbarea vulgaris
Common NameWintercress, yellow rocket cress, winter rocket, herb barbara, rocket cress, wound rocket
Weed TypeBiennial weed
FlowerDense cluster of small yellow and lightly fragrant flowers with 4 petals
LeavesDeeply-toothed rounded leavesGrows in 1 to 4 pairs of lateral lobes

The wintercress is a biennial weed indigenous to North Africa, Europe, and Asia. It is commonly found on roadsides, stony slopes, hay fields, rocky outcrops, and even waste grounds. 

Wintercress first produces basal leaves, but in the second year, upright stalks grow with a cluster of yellow flowers at the top. Its flowering period is usually from the months of April to July. 

The leaves grow large at the bottom and get smaller toward the top, giving the plant an oval shape. 

Wintercress also produces small elongated green fruits which help propagate the plant with its tiny seeds. 

11. Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

Scientific NameLotus corniculatus
Common NameCommon bird’s-foot trefoil, bird’s-foot trefoil, birdsfoot deervetch
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerPea-like yellow legumes
LeavesCompound and alternate leaves

Bird’s Foot Trefoil is a perennial weed that is native to the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North Africa. This plant thrives in places with high precipitation and moderately acidic soil. 

It produces pea-like, yellow flowers that emerge in a whorl pattern. 

They are useful for erosion control, especially in mine reclamation, as well as a good source of food for wild deer. 

12. Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta)

Scientific NameRudbeckia hirta
Common NameBlack-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia, and Cone Flowers
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerBright yellow flower with dark chocolate-colored center
LeavesThin, lanceolate shapedSparsely-toothed leaves

The Black-Eyed Susan is a perennial weed native to gardens, prairies, and meadows of eastern and central North America. It thrives in heat, drought, and in a wide range of well-drained soils.

It produces clusters of daisy-like flowers with a distinct brown center every June to August.

It’s also the state flower of Maryland and the symbol of the University of Southern Mississippi. 

13. Canadian Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Scientific NameSolidago canadensis
Common NameCanadian goldenrod
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerTiny yellow flowers in elongated pyramid formation
LeavesProminently-toothed

The Canadian goldenrod is a perennial weed that thrives in moist and sunny locations in North America and Europe. They are usually found in savannas, thickets, gravel steeps, and even floodplains.

From August to October, the Solidago it produces tiny yellow flowers in an elongated pyramid formation. 

This plant has medicinal properties used for infusions and making sedatives.  It is also a go-to source of nectar for bees in the wild. 

14. Yellow Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Scientific NameOenothera biennis
Common NameYellow Evening Primrose, Sundrops, Large Yellow Evening Primrose
Weed TypeBiennial weed
FlowerLarge yellow flower with 4 petals and a cross-shaped stigma
LeavesOblong, lanceolate leaves

The Yellow Evening Primrose is a biennial weed that is native to Europe and North America. 

It produces flowers that bloom in the evening, hence its common name, Yellow Evening Primrose. 

In its first year, this plant grows its leaves and spreads its roots. Afterward, the sundrops produce trumpet-shaped yellow flowers. 

Its flower, seed, roots, and essential oil are used to treat fatigue, pre-menstrual syndrome, menopausal problems, and even impotence. 

The Yellow Evening Primrose is also a valuable source of nectar for hummingbirds.

15. Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

Scientific NameRanunculus repens
Common NameCreeping buttercup, creeping crowfoot, sitfast
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerSmall yellow flower with 5 overlapping petals
LeavesLight green leaves grow on long fine-haired stalks

The Creeping Buttercup is a low-growing perennial weed. It thrives in wet or damp areas in Europe, Africa, and Asia. 

Its flowers have 5 overlapping petals with clusters and stamens at the center and bloom from March to August.

Its hairy stems grow up to one foot tall while its hairy leaves have distinct pale patches and 3 toothed leaflets. 

Unfortunately, the Creeping Buttercup crowds out other plants and competes with the nutrients and water in the soil.

This plant is also toxic to grazing animals as it contains the chemical protoanemonin. Animals that ingest this reportedly suffer from skin irritation, abdominal distress, blisters, salivation, and inflammation.

16. Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)

Scientific NamePotentilla reptans
Common NameCreeping cinquefoil, European cinquefoil, creeping tormentil, Creeping five-finger
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerYellow flower with 5 heart-shaped petals
LeavesPalmate leaves with tooth-edged leaflets

The Creeping cinquefoil is a member of the rose family and a perennial weed. It is native to Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the United States.

It blooms during early summer, featuring bright flowers that have 5 heart-shaped petals. 

This plant also has creeping stems and roots directly from its nodes, making it an invasive type of weed. It can smother plants within a 10 sqm radius in a single season.

17. Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)

Scientific NameEuphorbia cyparissias
Common NameBonaparte’s Crown, graveyard moss, graveyard weed, and cypress spurge
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerTiny yellow flowers in umbel-like clusters
LeavesNarrow leaves with toxic milky sap

The cypress spurge is a ground-covering perennial weed that is native to Europe and North America. 

It thrives in dry, well-drained soils that have full sun exposure. It can tolerate heat and droughts, making it abundant in dry banks and hillsides.

This herbaceous herb has erect stems with cup-shaped yellow flowers at the top.

Its foliage resembles a bottle brush. However, the leaves contain a toxic milky sap that causes poisoning to livestock and skin irritation to humans. 

18. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Scientific NameTaraxacum officinale
Common NameDandelion, Lion’s tooth, blow-ball, Irish daisy, pissinlit, puffball, tell-time, yellow gowan
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerBright yellow flowers on top of hollow stalks
LeavesDark green leaves

Dandelions are one of the most popular yellow flowers that grow from perennial weeds. 

It has been a common ritual for children to make a wish before blowing on a dandelion puffball to disperse the seeds. 

It is a fast-spreading weed that forms deep in the taproots. It also contains a milky latex sap.

These bright yellow dandelions bloom from March to November.

The leaves, flowers, and roots are edible. Its flowers taste like honey and are used as a natural ingredient in wine, salad, and even jams. 

Its foliage can be eaten raw or cooked while the root is a great substitute for coffee.

19. Golden Clover (Trifolium aureum pollich)

Scientific NameTrifolium aureum pollich
Common NameLarge hop trefoil, large trefoil, large hop clover, golden clover or hop clover, palmate hop clover
Weed TypeBiennial weed
FlowerBright yellow flowers arranged into an elongated inflorescence
LeavesDark green leaves, each divided into 3 sessile leaflets

The golden clover is a small biennial weed indigenous to Europe and Asia. It thrives in partly shaded and sun-exposed habitats such as roadsides and forest trails.

Meadows are filled with bright yellow flowers when it blooms from June to August. These flowers are arranged in an elongated round inflorescence at the end of the stem.

They have broad, compound leaves that divide into 3 sessile leaflets. 

The golden clover is edible and has been used in salads and teas. 

20. Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)

Scientific NameFicaria verna
Common NameLesser celandine, pilewort
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerYellow buttercup-like flower
LeavesStrongly-lobed grayish-green leaves

The Lesser celandine is a perennial weed native to damp environments in Europe, Asia, and North America. 

It has grayish-green leaves shaped like a heart. In early spring, yellow buttercup-like flowers bloom from this weed. 

It is a common garden weed that aggressively spreads its root system and is capable of self-pollination. 

21. Marsh Yellowcress (Rorippa palustris)

Scientific NameRorippa palustris
Common NameMarsh yellowcress, Bog marsh cress, bog yellowcress, yellow cress, yellow watercress
Weed TypeMay be annual, biennial or perennial weed
FlowerYellow flower with 4 slender petals in terminal clusters
LeavesAlternate, petiolatedWith lobes at the tip

The marsh yellowcress may be an annual, biennial or perennial weed, but it certainly grows in moist and wet environments. 

It is native to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean, but has been naturalized across the globe.

This plant forms a rosette of deeply-lobed leaves. Flower stalks then grow, setting the stage for a bright yellow flower with 4 slender petals in terminal clusters.

22. Narrowleaf Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

Scientific NamePlantago lanceolata
Common NameRibwort plantain, narrowleaf plantain, English plantain,ribleaf, lamb’s tongue, buckhorn
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerFurrowed flower stalk with an inflorescence of smaller flowers
LeavesBasal leavesLanceolate spreadingScarcely-toothedParallel veins with a short petiole

The narrowleaf plantain is a perennial weed from the plantain family Plantaginaceae. 

It is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found in pastures, fields, meadows, and lawns. 

The narrowleaf plantain has an oblong-shaped flower stalk at the top with an inflorescence of smaller light yellow flowers. 

Its foliage can be eaten cooked or raw. It is used for tea or for the treatment of cough, diarrhea, hematuria, and dysentery.

23. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Scientific NamePortulaca oleracea
Common NameCommon Purslane, Pursley, little hogweed
Weed TypeAnnual weed
FlowerTiny bright yellow flowers with notched petals
LeavesAlternate, clover-like leaves

Purslane is an annual weed indigenous to the temperate and tropical regions of northeast United States. 

This little succulent is commonly found in pathways, rocky bluffs croplands, barnyards, and nurseries. 

It blooms any time of the year with small yellow flowers with 5 heart-shaped petals. It has smooth red stems and alternate, clover-like leaves. 

This plant is a good source of food for sparrows, deer, and pigs in the wilderness.

24. Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

Scientific NamePastinaca sativa
Common NameWild parsnip, poison parsnip
Weed TypeBiennial weed
FlowerSmall yellow flowers in clusters
LeavesBright green, alternate leaves

Wild parsnip is native to Europe, Asia, and the United States. It is usually found on roadsides, forests, and field margins. 

Before its roots become edible, wild parsnip plants begin as biennial weeds. It has hollow ribbed stems and bright green alternate leaves with toothed leaflets.

Its flowering season occurs from May to June when small yellow flowers arranged in umbel emerge at the top of its tall stems. 

The plant is also called poison parsnip because chemicals from its leaves, stems, and flowers cause blisters, burns, and other types of skin irritation, especially when exposed to sunlight. 

25. Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Scientific NameRaphanus raphanistrum
Common Namewild radish, white charlock, jointed charlock
Weed TypeAnnual weed
FlowerWith 4 yellow petals with dark veins
LeavesPinnate leaves with a large rounded terminal lobe

The wild radish is an annual weed from the mustard family. It is native to the temperate regions of North Africa, Europe, and Western Asia. 

It thrives in disturbed areas such as roadsides and floodplains. 

Wild radish has a rosette of basal lobed leaves at the bottom. Its stems are elongated and covered by the alternate growth of its foliage.

At the tip of each stem emerges a pale yellow flower with 4 petals and dark veins. 

The dried ripe seed of wild radish is a common traditional medicine for hypertension and constipation.

26. Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

Scientific NameCyperus esculentus
Common NameChufa, tiger nut, atadwe, yellow nutsedge, earth almond
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerYellow spikelets arranged in rays of umbel
LeavesSmooth, shiny, grasslike leaves

The yellow nutsedge is a perennial weed native to North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is usually found on upland prairies, ponds, stream edges, pastures, fields, roadsides, railroads, and moist open areas.

This plant grows up to 2 feet tall making its yellow spikelets flowers arranged in umbel easily visible.

This grasslike native weed spreads through rhizomes and tubers and thrives in moist and wet environments. 

The yellow nutsedge is a noxious invasive weed that tends to rob surrounding plants of water and nutrients through its roots. 

27. Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)

Scientific NameTragopogon dubius
Common NameYellow salsify, Western goat’s-beard, wild oyster plant, western salsify
Weed TypeBiennial weed
FlowerInflorescence with yellow flowers
LeavesAlternate, lanceolate with smooth pointed tips

The yellow salsify is a biennial weed native to Europe, Asia, and the United States. It typically grows in warm, moist soils present in woodland, forest, shrubland, and grassland.

Its foliage tends to be alternate and lanceolate with pointed tips.

It blooms from late spring to mid-summer. By this time, an inflorescence of yellow flowers is seen on top of its long hairless stalk.

In each inflorescence, there are smaller inner florets and thinner but longer outer florets surrounding them. At the center are black anthers that give this flower its distinct feature.

28. Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

Scientific NameOxalis stricta
Common NameWood sorrels, yellow sorrels, sour grasses, false shamrocks
Weed TypePerennial weed
FlowerTiny yellow flowers with 5 petals
LeavesDark green clover leaves

The yellow sorrel is a perennial weed common in Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa. It is usually found in pastures, flower beds, lawns, woodlands, meadows, and even disturbed areas.

It blooms with a small bright yellow flower with 5 petals. Surrounding it are its trifoliate heart-shaped leaves that curl up at night and open every morning.

This plant propagates through its rhizomes and stolons, making it an aggressive weed in gardens. 

29. Black Medic (Medicago lupulina)

Scientific NameMedicago lupulina
Common NameBlack medic, nonesuch, hop clover, black clover
Weed TypeAnnual weed
FlowerSmall yellow flower in tight bunches
LeavesCompound leaves3 oval leafletsShort petioles

The black medic is a weed native to the disturbed areas, lawns and pastures of Europe, North Africa, and Asia. It thrives in dry and well-drained soils.

It produces small yellow flowers in tight bunches emerging from the leaves. Each globe-like flower head contains 15 to 50 smaller yellow flowers.

This is an aggressive weed that uses its branched taproot and nodules to propagate. In the process, the black medic also adds nitrogen to the soil.


Which of these plants have you encountered before? Do you know any other yellow flowers that are actually weeds? 

Let us know in the comment box below!

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