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List of weeds with heart-shaped leaves

Walking around your garden, you will come across weeds with heart-shaped leaves. These weeds usually have nice flowers in astounding colors.

But some weeds with heart-shaped leaves and brightly colored flowers are not the best ornamentals. Instead, they are invasive plants that can choke good plants.

However, some, such as the Wild Violet, produce purple flowers in the spring, and you can use them as ground cover or in rock gardens. 

Here are ten plants that have heart-shaped leaves.

1. Velvetleaf

 Abutilon theophrasti
Abutilon theophrasti. Image: Flickr/Vicente
  • Scientific Name: Abutilon theophrasti
  • Family: Malvaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Annual
  • Native Range: Southern Asia

Velvetleaf is one of the many weeds with heart-shaped leaves. It is an annual plant native to Southern Asia and grows during the warmer seasons and germinates in the spring, with the flowers appearing in the summer.

Velvetleaf grows to a height of up to eight feet. It has branched stout stems covered in downy hairs. Also, the plant has large and heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips at their ends.

Velvetleaf has bright yellow flowers with five petals attached at the base. All the flowers grow in clusters or individually on stalks.

Velvetleaf spreads through seeds that can remain dormant and viable for many years. Therefore, the best way to eliminate them is to use a pre-emergent herbicide.

2. Black Bindweed

Fallopia convolvulus
Fallopia convolvulus. Image: Flickr/Andreas Rockstein
  • Scientific Name: Fallopia convolvulus
  • Family: Polygonaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Annual
  • Native Range: Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa

Black bindweed is a fast-growing annual weed native throughout Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. It is among the many invasive outdoor plants with heart-shaped leaves.

Black bindweed grows to a height of up to 1.5 meters. It has alternate, broad, heart-shaped leaves with a petiole. Also, its flowers are small and can be greenish pink or greenish white.

When the stems of black bindweed grow, they twine clockwise around the stems of other good plants.

You can prevent this by applying an herbicide like glyphosate to the plant in the fall when it is actively growing. However, treatment should be continuous to reduce seed production.

3. Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress
Hairy Bittercress. Image: Flickr/Ian Redding
  • Scientific Name: Cardamine hirsuta
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Annual or Biennial
  • Native Range: Western Asia
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Hairy Bittercress is an annual and sometimes biennial weed native to Western Asia. Although it is an invasive plant, some countries use it as food in green salads.

Hairy Bittercress grows to a height of up to 12 inches. The plant is usually erect with branches near the base.

The leaves of the Hairy Bittercress weed grow in a rosette at the base of the stem. They have up to 15 leaflets and are ovate. Also, the plant has white flowers with white petals.

When Hairy Bittercress becomes invasive, hand pulling or hoeing becomes the best method to remove them. Alternatively, use a pre-emergent to prevent its regrowth.

4. Bermuda Buttercup

Oxalis pes-caprae
Oxalis pes-caprae. Image: Flickr/L’herbier en photos
  • Scientific Name: Oxalis pes-caprae
  • Family: Oxalidaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Perennial
  • Native Range: South Africa

Bermuda Buttercup is a perennial weed native to South Africa. It is a small plant with heart-shaped leaves because it can only grow to a height of 45 centimeters.

Bermuda Buttercup is easily identifiable because of its brightly-colored yellow flowers composed of five petals. The plant has a short vertical stem attached to a pale brown underground bulb.

Bermuda Buttercup has clover-like leaves shaped like a heart arising from an enlarged basal stem tip. Each leaflet has a hairy lower surface.

Bermuda Buttercup is an invasive weed that can be difficult to control mechanically. Therefore, chemical application is effective in killing it.

5. Sweet Violet

Sweet Violet
Sweet Violet
  • Scientific Name: Viola odorata
  • Family: Violaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Perennial
  • Native Range: Europe and Asia

Sweet Violet is a perennial weed native to Europe and Asia. The plant blooms in the late winter and early spring.

Sweet Violet is a low-growing plant with hairy, heart-shaped leaves and a deep green color. It has purple or blue-violet flowers with five oval petals. However, the plant sometimes has white or lilac flowers.

Sweet Violet has a long taproot system and is among wild plants with heart-shaped leaves. Therefore, you can eliminate it by hand pulling to remove the roots. But a permanent solution involves applying a herbicide.

6. Japanese Morning Glory

  • Scientific Name: Ipomoea nil
  • Family: Convolvulaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Annual or Perennial
  • Native Range: Tropical Americas (Central America and Mexico)
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Japanese Morning Glory is technically a perennial plant. But depending on the climate where it is naturalized, the plant can be an annual.

Despite its name, Japanese Morning Glory is not native to Japan. Instead, it is native to tropical Americas, especially Central America and Mexico.

Japanese Morning Glory is a climber with twinning stems. Its stems can twine up to five centimeters.

Also, it has ovate to circular leaves, with their base heart-shaped. Japanese Morning Glory produces blue to reddish-purple flowers with whitish tubes.

The plant can be invasive in fertile soils. Thus, you can remove it by hoeing or applying a chemical solution.

7. Henbit deadnettle

Lamium amplexicaule
Henbit deadnettle. Image: Flickr/Andreas
  • Scientific Name: Lamium amplexicaule
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Annual
  • Native Range: Europe, Asia, Northern Africa

Henbit deadnettle is an annual weed native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. The plant grows to a height of 9.8 inches with a soft, finely hairy stem.

Henbit deadnettle has rounded, heart-shaped leaves with lobbed margins on opposite ends. It produces pink to purple flowers that emerge from the step where the leaf joins the stem.

Henbit deadnettle has seeds that germinate in the fall. Thus, the plant flowers early in the spring.

You can eliminate Henbit deadnettle before its seeds germinate using a herbicide. Hand pulling or hoeing can also remove its roots if it has invaded. We discussed the best henbit elimination methods earlier.

8. Yellow Wood Sorrel

Oxalis stricta
Yellow Wood Sorrel. Image: Flickr/Andreas
  • Scientific Name: Oxalis stricta
  • Family: Oxalidaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Annual and Perennial
  • Native Range: North America, Eurasia

Yellow Wood Sorrel is an annual and perennial weed native to North America and Eurasia. The plant is a low-lying weed that can grow up to 38 centimeters tall.

Yellow Wood Sorrel is easily recognizable because of its light-green, clover- or heart-shaped leaves. It has small, delicate flowers that are yellow.

Yellow Wood Sorrel spreads by the seed. Its seeds can disperse up to four meters away.

The best way to deal with Yellow Wood Sorrel is to hoe it or hand pull it before it sets seed or flowers. Since it requires full sun to grow, you can smother it with a deep layer of soil or mulch.

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9. Creeping Charlie

Glechoma hederacea
Creeping Charlie. Image by: Flickr/Andreas
  • Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Perennial
  • Native Range: Europe

Creeping Charlie is a ground-cover plant with heart-shaped leaves. It is a perennial weed native to Europe but naturalized worldwide.

Creeping Charlie has heart-shaped toothed leaves and purple flowers. Its petioles are long and attached to square stems rooting at the nodes.

It is an invasive weed in North America that spreads by stolon or seeds. It grows aggressively and can kill other plants that come in contact with it.

Creeping Charlie has an extensive root system that can be challenging to eradicate through mechanical means like hand pulling or hoeing. 

Therefore, chemical control is the only effective method of eliminating Creeping Charlie.

10. Giant Knotweed

Giant Knotweed
Giant Knotweed. Image: Flickr/Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • Scientific Name: Reynoutria sachalinensis
  • Family: Polygonaceae
  • Native Range: Asia, Russia

Giant Knotweed is a perennial plant native to Asia and Russia. The plant grows to a height of four meters with strong, extensively spreading rhizomes.

Giant Knotweed has small, sparse, greenish flowers with heart-shaped leaves and a crenate margin. Its stem is upright, round, and hollow with swollen nodes resembling bamboo shoots.

Giant Knotweed spreads through rhizomes. If it invades your garden, you can remove it through hand-pulling. However, chemical control is more effective in preventing its regrowth.

11. Asarabacca

Asarabacca. Image:Flickr/Ophis
  • Scientific Name: Asarum europaeum
  • Family: Aristolochiaceae
  • Annual or Perennial: Perennial
  • Native Range: Europe

Asarabacca, or European wild ginger, is a perennial weed native to Europe. The plant has stems that grow to 15 centimeters, each with two leaves.

Asarabacca has heart-shaped dark green and glossy leaves. The plant has solitary flowers that are brownish towards their ends and dark purple toward the center.

You can remove Asarabacca by hand pulling or hoeing. Chemical application is also effective in eliminating the weed.

Have your say?

Which weeds with heart-shaped leaves and brightly colored flowers have you maintained in your garden?