Weed of the Month – Florida Betony

Florida betony is a cool season perennial weed that is beginning to come out of dormancy now.

Florida betony is a cool season perennial weed that is beginning to come out of dormancy now.
Jackie Jordan, ©2018, Clemson Extension

Florida betony is a cool season perennial weed that is beginning to come out of dormancy now. Another common name for this weed is rattlesnake weed, because of the thick white tubers that form underground and look like the rattle of a rattlesnake. Other common names for this weed include wild-artichoke and hedgenettle. As a member of the mint family, it has square stems and leaves that are opposite each other on the stems. It produces a pink flower in March. Like other members of the mint family this weed can spread quickly.

Florida betony is often introduced into landscaped beds with ornamental plantings. The weed spreads from landscaped beds into thin areas of lawn. The first step to achieving control of this weed is to use proper maintenance practices. In landscape beds, use a 2-to 3-inch layer of mulch. In the lawn, fertilize and mow correctly to promote a thick stand of grass. For more information on fertilizing lawns and mowing lawns see  HGIC 1201, Fertilizing Lawns and HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns.

If this weed is a problem in your landscape, select a post emergent herbicide labeled for use in your lawn or flower beds. Multiple applications will need to be made. The first application should be made now in late October/ Early November. A second application should be made in mid-February. See HGIC 2313, Florida Betony for site specific chemical recommendations.

 

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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