Weed of the Month – Florida Pusley

Florida pusley (Richardia scabra) can be a troublesome turfgrass weed.

Florida pusley (Richardia scabra) can be a troublesome turfgrass weed.
Jackie Jordan ©2015, Clemson Extension

Florida pusley is a low-branching, annual summer weed. Its pretty, white, star-shaped flowers produce an abundance of seeds, and a single plant can quickly turn into an infestation. This weed is extremely drought tolerant and can easily out compete lawns that are not irrigated during extended dry weather conditions.

Florida pusley is often found in open thin areas of turf. Maintaining a lawn at the correct mowing height and never removing more than a third of the blade at one time will promote a dense stand of turf. To find the correct mowing height for your lawn, please see HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns.

A lawn dominated by Florida pusley could be suffering from a nematode infestation. Nematodes are microscopic worms that attack the root system of the grass. They are very prolific in the Sandhill and Coastal Plain regions of South Carolina. Nematodes cause yellowing and thinning of turf. For more information on nematodes, check out HGIC 2154, Nematode Problems in Home Lawns.

If you think nematodes could be causing problems in your lawn, contact your local Clemson Extension office for information on how to submit a sample.

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

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