Introduced from Europe, and now found throughout the western half of North America to Alaska, and in the northeastern quarter of the U.S. and into eastern Canada.
An annual to a short-lived perennial that reproduces from seeds. This is a common weed in dry soils along roadsides, waste areas and disturbed habitats, and in poorly maintained turf. It is well suited for growth in sandy or gravelly soils, and seeds may even germinate in gaps in rock or brick walls.
Mature plants have many branching stems that grow prostrate to erect, causing the plant to form a thick clump to a height of only 8 or 9 inches and a diameter of about one foot. The tiny leaves are sparsely placed along the stems, are opposite, and are linear in shape with smooth margins. The overall plant has a skeleton look due to the small, well-placed leaves. Flowers are small and pinkish, forming on long stalks that arise from the leaf axils and junctions of stems at the upper parts of the plant. They are composed of 5 elongate-oval petals with the prominent yellow stamens protruding from them.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Plants cannot tolerate areas of high moisture. Plants are easily physically removed where individual plants occur, and a contact or systemic herbicide will effectively kill plants where needed. Plants can adapt to low mowing heights.