Weed problem

I have what I call a cocklebur. It looks like a tiny star explosion about 1/4" in diameter, and has porcupine spines that stick and burn. The poor pooch came in this morning with about twenty in her long fur. So, we had fun getting them out.
I'm going out today (I have two acres) and find them and dig them up. I am reluctant to use Roundup because the dogs run all over, and we just lost a pussycat of Lab last Nov. to cancer, so want to go easy on the poisons.
Anyone know what this is? It grows on grassy stalks that have long green and purple stalks and leaves.
Steve
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http://www.google.com/search?q=burrs%20described%20weed&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
Looks like many options. Luckily we don't have them about but I don't want to gloat as the weed may appear next spring. NASTY.
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

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On Wed, 22 Sep 2010 11:33:01 -0400, Bill who putters

Burs are beautiful plants and their deep roots are good for the soil. They typically grow singularly or in small groupings, their flowers are gorgeous and conspicuous making the plant easy to avoid.
waynesword.palomar.edu/plapr98.htm
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"Brooklyn1" <Gravesend1> wrote in message wrote:

Here's some pics of the beautiful, conspicuous and gorgeous plant. Are we talking about the same thing here?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deserttraveler /
Steve
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I've always called those sandburs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenchrus
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    In Florida, those plants are called, generically, "sandspur". See here: <http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu/News%20columns/Sandspur.htm . Transplants tend to call them "sandburrs" for some reason. Generations of children have enjoyed mock battles using racemes of sandspur seeds as missiles.     The plant is endemic, incipient and indigenous to the Southeastern U.S.A. and thrives in the sandy soils along the Gulf (of Mexico) AWA the Atlantic Seaboard. As a Florida native, I can assure you that the only way to get rid of them is to uproot the plant _before_ the seeds (the burrs) mature and begin to dislodge. Alternatively, herbicides may be used. Cultivated "turf" (those detestable "lawns" of non-native grasses that infest Florida, for example) discourages sandspur's spread because it doesn't like competition, "rich" soil, or irrigation. While the plant resembles grass, its habit as that of a sedge. That is, it spreads in a "rosette" from a central root system. Blossoms are inconspicuous on racemes and the plant is most easily spotted after the seeds begin to develop, although, with experience you will be able to spot the immature plants.     This plant is ubiquitous throughout Florida, being perfectly adapted to the native sandy soil, to all of the habitats and to the increasingly "green desert" climate. It thrives in poor soils and in dry conditions. Sandspurs are one of Florida's two largest agricultural products, the other being mosquitoes ;-) They are adaptive: For example, repeated mowings simply cause the plant to become prostrate.
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Derald

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