Mugwort

Description

Mugwort is a perennial weed with very distinctive alternate and dissected leaves. The upper leaf surface is bright green and smooth, while the lower leaf surface is light green in color and very hairy. The leaves resemble common chrysanthemums, and also emit an odor when crushed. Mugwort is commonly found in waste areas, flower beds and lawns. Its strong and persistent rhizomes mean that cultural and chemical control can be difficult.

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: For use in residential and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, golf course fairways and roughs, roadsides, utility right-of-ways, railways, and industrial areas. Apply to turf following a second mowing if a good root system has been established. Apply up to 12 fluid ounces per acre to bentgrass at 0.5 inch or higher, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Apply 18 to 24 fluid ounces per acre to perennial bluegrass, tall fescue, and all warm season grasses except St. Augustinegrass (do not apply) and bermudagrass (apply 18 to 36 fluid ounces per acre). For sod production, apply 6 months after establishment, and do not harvest within 3 months. Do not apply with adjuvants or surfactants. [Sulfentrazone + prodiamine should not be applied to cool-season turf with N-containing fertilizers unless some short-term discoloration is tolerable.​

Species Data

  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • perennial weed
  • GROWTH HABIT
  • LEAFLET NUMBER
    • one
  • LEAF MARGIN
    • deeply lobed, upper leaf surface dark green, underside of leaf white to gray
  • LEAF HAIRS
    • dense hairs on upper surface, smooth to slightly hairy bottom surface
  • LEAF / LEAFLET SHAPE
  • LEAF WIDTH
    • 1 inch to greater than 2 inches
  • LEAF VENATION
    • pinnate
  • LEAF ARRANGEMENT
  • ROOT TYPE
  • FLOWER COLOR
    • inconspicuous
Mugwort growth habit.Figure 1. Mugwort growth habit.MugwortFigure 2. Mugwort.Mugwort growth habit.Figure 3. Mugwort growth habit.Mugwort leaflet shape.Figure 4. Mugwort leaflet shape.Mugwort leaflet shape.Figure 5. Mugwort leaflet shape.Mugwort leaf arrangement.Figure 6. Mugwort leaf arrangement.Mugwort root type.Figure 7. Mugwort root type.Mugwort root type.Figure 8. Mugwort root type.

Written By

Photo of Dr. Charles PeacockDr. Charles PeacockProfessor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist (919) 515-7615 charles_peacock@ncsu.eduCrop and Soil Sciences - NC State University
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This Extension factsheet can also be viewed at:
https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/mugwort