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Carpet Burweed

Carpet Burweed

Carpet Burweed

(Soliva sessilis)

Priority: -  Prevent

Tags: Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction


  • Carpet burweed, is also known as lawn burrweed, it is a low-growing annual plant. 
  • Forms a rosette with stems arranged in a sprawling pattern. Measures about 3-5 cm wide and 7 cm tall.  
  • Individual plants have at most 10 hairy stems growing from the base. 
  • Leaves are small, feathery and carrot or fern-like. 

  • This plant is covered in flat seeds that have stiff hairs and are spined. 


  • It reproduces by seed. 
  • Up to 100 seeds per plant in a growing season. 
  • Bur-like seeds easily attach to fur and clothing. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Carpet burweed is commonly invading exposed grasslands, pastures and recently disturbed sites. 
  • It is also regarded as a common lawn weed, negatively impacting lawns, parks, playing fields and golf courses.



  • Dead or alive, this plant poses a serious problem.
  • If found on lawn will pose as a hazard for pets and humans because of its thorny nature. 


  • Once introduced, carpet burweed quickly spreads and forms a dense "carpet". 
  • These dense mats prevent the growth of native species. 
  • It has a competitive advantage over native vegetation as it flowers and seeds very early in the spring. 
  • When it dies off in the summer it leaves patches of bare soil, allowing germination of its own seeds. 


Prevention is a high priority for this species. 

  • Early detection and eradication is the best control measures for this plant. 
  • Learn to identify this plant and report sightings. 
  • Identified infestations should be fenced off to limit accidental spread of seeds. 
  • Clean and remove any seeds that may attach to clothing, shoes, equipment and pets when leaving an infested site. 
  • Refrain from moving unknown soil and plant matter. 
  • Maintain healthy and tall turf grass to prevent establishment of carpet burweed. 

Mechanical/Manual Control: 

  • Small infestations can be hand pulled. Ensure removal is done before seed set to prevent further dispersal of seeds. 
  • Plants should not be composted but bagged and thrown in the garbage. 


Download the factsheet from Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems in British Columbia on Soliva sessilis: carpet burweed here. 

For more details check out the Invasive Species Compendium datasheet on Soliva sessilis

Header photo (Harry Rose).