Facelis (Annual Trampweed)
[Facelis retusa (Lam.) Schultz-Bip.]
Facelis (annual trampweed) is a low-growing, winter annual broadleaf weed that is commonly found in warm-season lawns, pastures, sandy fields and waste areas. This plant is a native of South America but has become established in the United States as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and northeast into Tennessee and North Carolina. Facelis has freely branched stems at the base that recline along the ground. The stems are covered with tufts of long, soft hairs. Facelis leaves are alternate, generally lack petioles and have a narrow shape. The lower leaf surface is covered with white tufts of long hairs, and the upper surface is dull green. The leaf apex is indented to rounded, usually with a tiny sharp point. Facelis produces small white flowers and reproduces by seed in the spring. Volumes of feathery seed, similar in appearance to dandelion seed, can cover a lawn 2 - 3 inches deep.
winter annual weed
leaf apex is indented to rounded, usually with a tiny sharp point
white tufts of long hairs on lower surface
linear/oblong; leaves generally lack petioles and have a narrow shape
Note: Still not sure this is the right weed? The Turf & Weed Identification Decision Aid may help. Check the TurfFiles glossary for definitions of unfamiliar terms.
Facelis can easily invade thin, poorly managed warm-season lawns. Winter annual broadleaf weeds such as facelis germinate in the fall or winter and grow during any warm weather, which may occur in the winter, but otherwise remain somewhat dormant during the winter. They resume growth and produce seed in the spring and die as temperatures increase in late spring and early summer. They quickly invade thin turf areas especially where there is good soil moisture. Shade may also encourage growth. A dense, vigorous turf is the best way to reduce the encroachment of this weed. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.
Atrazine (Aatrex 4L) or simazine (Princep 4L) will provide preemergence control and should be applied in September - early October and repeated in February - early March. Postemergence control (February - early March) can be obtained with repeat applications of two- or three-way mixtures containing 2,4-D, MCPP, dicamba or MCPA (Trimec, Triplet, MEC Amine-D, TRI-POWER, Weedmaster, etc.). Other postemergence options include atrazine, simazine, metribuzin (Sencor), metsulfuron (Manor), atrazine plus bentazon (Prompt) and triclopyr applied alone or combined with clopyralid or 2,4-D (Turflon Ester, Chaser, Confront, Momentum, etc.).
Tolerant Turfs (1)
Average Efficacy Rating(2)
Range of Trial Efficacy Values, %
Number of Trials
Glyphosate Original, Roundup, Touchdown Pro**
glyphosate & imazapyr
93 - 98
glyphosate & oxyfluorfen
93 - 94
GroundClear SuperEdger plus Ready to Use
Spectracide Total Vegetation Killer
2,4-D & dicamba & mecoprop
bk, f, r, z
MEC Amine-D*, Trimec Bentgrass, Trimec Classic, Trimec Southern, Triplet
be, sa, z
For use only by or under the supervision of a certified applicator, or by commercial nursery, turf, and landscape personnel.
Not for application to residential lawns.
No turfgrass in the database is completely tolerant. Check label to see if chemical can be used at a reduced rate or during the dormant season on your turfgrass.
excellent control (90 to 100%)
good control (80 to 90%)
fair control (70 to 80%)
Efficacy ratings are based on herbicide trials performed by weed scientists at North Carolina State University between 1997 and 2007. The number of trials included in the efficacy ratings is displayed in the next-to-last column. The higher this number, the more confidence can be placed in the efficacy values. Trials may have involved sequential applications of one or more chemical. Details of individual trials (herbicide rates, dates of application, environmental conditions at time of application, etc) can be viewed on the TurfFiles web site, through the Turf Weed Management Decision Aid.
Efficacy ratings for chemicals lacking trial data are from “Pest Management Strategic Plan for Turfgrass in the Southern United States,” summary of a workshop for turf experts from multiple universities held in Griffin, GA in October, 2004 and sponsored by the Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center.
Recommendations of specific chemicals are based upon information on the manufacturer's label and performance in a limited number of trials. Because environmental conditions and methods of application may vary widely, performance of the chemical will not always conform to the safety and pest control standards indicated by experimental data. The order in which brand names are given is not an indication of a recommendation or criticism.
Recommendations for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services does not imply endorsement by North Carolina State University or discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. Other brand names may be labeled for use on turfgrasses. Individuals who use agricultural chemicals are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. For assistance, contact your county's Cooperative Extension agent.
© North Carolina State University. This information sheet was prepared by Fred Yelverton, Bridget R. Lassiter, Gail G. Wilkerson, Leon Warren, Travis Gannon, Jenifer J. Reynolds, and Gregory S. Buol. Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, North Carolina State University. Prepared July 15, 2008. Available on-line at www.turffiles.ncsu.edu. This publication was made possible through a grant provided by the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research & Education (CENTERE) whose purpose is to support worthwhile projects that will benefit both the private sector and the public, and protect the environment.