Weed or Plant? Removal Ideas

Asked April 1, 2016, 4:52 PM EDT

Built a new home on an existing piece of land last year after tearing down a home. The homes are around a "green" lake, so there has never been any fertilizing of lawns. There is an approximately 15'x8' patch of lawn that straddles my backyard and mostly my elderly neighbors yard. The patch is covered by the weed /plant in the picture that I cannot identify. It grows rather tall. My neighbor states that it used to flower, but no longer does. We wanted to tear it out an put down grass seed. However, after attempting to dig out the weed/plant, it appear that the task will be difficult due to the root structure. Any ideas as to what the picture represents and any thoughts on removal methods other than taking out about the entire patch by removing about 4-5 inches of the soil? Responses are appreciated.

Michigan master gardener program plant identification

2 Responses

This appears to be a daylily. It may be the common one found growing in ditches and along roadsides, Hemerocallis fulva, common name Tawny Daylily. I am going to give you some links to articles and pictures with which you can compare your plant.

If it is daylily your best control is to dig the tubers out. Glyphosate (one brand is called Roundup) can be used, too, but with a thick rhizome or 'root' you will need more than one application. Daylily is considered difficult to get rid of so you will have to be diligent a couple of growing seasons or more to get rid of it all.
Glyphosate works by being applied to the above ground growing leaves. It is a herbicide that will kill any growing plant it is sprayed on, so protect shrubs, trees, and other plants from over spray or wind drift if you use it. It can be painted onto the leaves for better control. When using chemicals always follow the label and all precautions.
Common or tawny daylily:

See page 43 of the following publication:

You mentioned you will be planting turf in this area. A nice reference for installing lawns and other aspects of lawn care can be found at

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Thank you kindly for your quick response!