What is this weed?

I have a weed that spreads all through my flower beds likw wild fire.

It had dark red slighty hairy stems, dark green jagged edged leaves. It has a slight aniseed smell to it. it's roots are very shallow and I take the whole thing roots and all up, but it always returns.

What is it and how can I defeat it? image


  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,139

    Sarah, does this weed flower if so does it look a bit like a buttercup. You seem to be describing (I could be wrong) creeping buttercup. Low growing travels fast on long creepers which root, three leaves with jagged edges and can even set itself in paving if there is a gap. I get some every year and remove it by hand when I find it otherwise it takes off all over the place. I do not use weed killers but if you do, coil some of the creeper up and put it in a plastic bag then spray into the bag and tie off, in time it should get the roots. Modern weed killers I am told are not very effective so it is on your knees and try to catch it at first sight. Who said gardening was easy?


  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    I am plagued with ivy-leaved Toadflax, this has red stems and green leaves, it grows everywhere and regrows even though I pull out.

    Does it look like the pic in the link below :-


  • Hi- sounds a bit like a cranesbill to me - I think there's one called "cut-leaved" or something like that.  Frank's way of dealing with unwanted weeds is how to do it!

  • Hi Sebklaw, thanks that appears to be the one. It's herb Robert Geranium.

    Anyone have advice on the best way to tackle it?

    Thanks for everyones advice!

  • SebklawSebklaw Posts: 2

    If you are struggling to 'weed' it out the best thing i find is to empty the bed of everything you want to keep and leave it empty for a season. Whilst its empty spray off the bed periodically with 'round up'( i mean a good ish one like gallup 360) and keep an eye on it. I know spraying is not to everyones tastes and someone may have a better solution  but its how ive got rid of things like willow herb in the past.

    Providing all looks clear after a season empty (you may want to fill it with a good suppressing green manure a couple off months before replanting, there are loads) you should be fine to put all your favorites back in. 

    Hope this helps, its really a last ditch effort, so with any luck somebody out there may have a better option for you.

  • kjdintownkjdintown Posts: 42

    Hi Sarah, If it is in the 'geranium' family I tackled something like this in my garden, except mine were two plants one light purple and one dark purple.  It was the only living thing in my garden when I moved in and at first I thought it was lovely, then as I got more into my garden, found it was creeping up everywhere.  It sends its roots out in fairly shallow soil underground so the first thing you see a few feet away is yet another green shoot.  I tried some sprays but in the end, just dug up everything I could find.  It wasn't too difficult as they were shallow roots but it did go on...and on a bit but it's gone now (fingers crossed).  I did give a fair bit away with the warning that it will take over a space if you want ground cover.  It will provide you with lots of lovely flowers in the summer that the bees love, but sometimes, some things just need to be appreciated in a pot! image

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