Ephemerals

Ephemerals are small plants which are often confused with annuals.

However, unlike annuals, ephemerals germinate, grow, flowers, set seed and die many times within one growing season or year.

If they are weed ephemerals this makes the gardeners’ task even harder – ‘one year’s seed makes seven years’ weed’ becomes multiplied by six or more generations of plant within a year.

Examples of common garden and allotment weeds which are ephemeral include Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) and Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsute)
These ephemeral weeds may grow all year round if the climate is mild enough.

See our post on Weeds for methods of getting rid of ephemerals.


Chartered Institute of Horticulture