Florida Betony

Description

Florida betony is a hard-to-control perennial weed that emerges in the fall and becomes a problem in late winter and spring. It is easily recognized by the very characteristic white tuber that resembles a rattlesnake rattle. This weed also has square stems and produces white to pink flowers in the spring. It is found in the southern United States west to Texas and north to Virginia.

Cultural Control

Perennial broadleaf turf weeds are capable of living more than two years. They thrive in weak, thin turf; golf fairways and roughs; home lawns; playfields; and industrial grounds. Proper turf maintenance is the key to control of this weed. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.

Chemical Control

Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
mesotrione, MOA 27 (4 SC) (Tenacity) 0.092 to 0.183 fl oz 4 to 8 fl oz 0.125 to 0.25
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
Postemergence Control
Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
[thiencarbazone-methyl + iodosulfuron-methyl + dicamba], MOA 14 + 2 + 4 (68 WG) (Celsius WG) 0.057 to 0.113 oz 2.5 to 4.9 oz 0.106 to 0.208
Precaution and Remarks: For use by licensed applicators in residential and commercial lawns, golf courses (excluding greens), sports fields, parks, recreational areas, roadsides, school grounds, and sod farms. Provides up to 60 days residual control. Use on bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and St Augustinegrass. Apply maximum 7.4 ounces per acre per season. Safe to use at high temperatures. Ryegrass can be overseeded 2 weeks after application. Apply 30 days prior to seeding bermudagrass or zoysiagrass. Wait 2 weeks after bermudagrass seedlling emergence or sprigging operation before applying. For zoysiagrass, wait 3 weeks after seedling emergence before applying. A nonionic surfactant or methylated seed oil at 0.25% v/v is required for optimum control. ​
florasulam, MOA 2 (0.42 SC) (Defendor) 0.09 fl oz 4 fl oz 0.013125
Precaution and Remarks: Can be used on all established major warm and cool season turfgrass species in residential lawns, golf courses (excluding putting greens), sports fields, sod farms and commercial turf areas. Controls Carolina geranium, species of chickweed, clover and dandelion, vetch, dollarweed and common groundsel. Do not exceed 3 applications or 12 fluid ounces per acre per year. Apply to newly seeded or sprigged turf after third mowing or when tillering and secondary root development has occurred. Wait 4 weeks to reseed. When used alone, add a nonionic surfactant at 0.2% by volume.
penoxsulam, MOA 2 (various brands) 0.014 G 3.4 to 10.3 lb 150 to 450 lb 0.02 to 0.06
0.03 G 1.7 to 4.6 lb 75 to 200 lb 0.02 to 0.06
0.31 L 0.092 to 0.55 fl oz 0.25 to 1.5 pt 0.01 to 0.058
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to residential and commercial lawns, golf courses (excluding greens and tees), parks, athletic fields, and sod farms. Use on turf that has been mowed at least 3 times or sprigs that have developed secondary root systems. Apply up to 75 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 150 pounds per acre of 0.014 G to perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. Apply up to 150 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 300 pounds per acre of 0.014 G to bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fine fescue. Apply up to 200 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 450 pounds per acre of 0.014 G to bermudagrass, centipedegreass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass. Do not apply to dormant centipedegrass. Reapply at 4 weeks if needed but do not exceed 300 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 650 pounds per acre of 0.014 G per season. After treatment, wait 3 to 4 weeks to reseed. Same statement as above concerning turf uses and reseeding intervals. Bermudagrass and kikuyugrass are the only warm season grasses labeled for use. Apply up to 1 pint per acre on bentgrass, 1.5 pint per acre on bermudagrass and kikuyugrass and 2 pints per acre on tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. Do not apply greater than 2.3 pints per acre per year. Surfactant not required.

Species Data

Florida betony growth habit.Figure 1. Florida betony growth habit.Florida betony growth habit.Figure 2. Florida betony growth habit.Florida betony leaflet number.Figure 3. Florida betony leaflet number.Florida betony leaf margin.Figure 4. Florida betony leaf margin.Florida betony leaf margin.Figure 5. Florida betony leaf margin.Florida betony leaf margin.Figure 6. Florida betony leaf margin.Florida betony leaf margin.Figure 7. Florida betony leaf margin.Florida betony leaf margin.Figure 8. Florida betony leaf margin.Florida betony root type.Figure 9. Florida betony root type.Florida betony root type.Figure 10. Florida betony root type.Florida betony root type.Figure 11. Florida betony root type.Florida betony root type.Figure 12. Florida betony root type.

Written By

Photo of Charles Peacock, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Charles PeacockProfessor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist (919) 515-7615 charles_peacock@ncsu.eduCrop & Soil Sciences - NC State University
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This Extension factsheet can also be viewed at:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/florida-betony