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Spiderwort: A Tough Pasture Weed

UF/IFAS

Background
Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis Raf.) can be a problem in pastures and hay fields.  This native plant is often not grazed by livestock.  When cutting hay, Spiderwort dries much slower than the desired forages in the field.  This can cause some hay to spoil when baled with Spiderwort.  Limited effective herbicide options make this plant difficult to control in infested fields.

Identification
Spiderwort has several characteristics that make it easily identifiable.  This plant has a thick stem with long grass-like leaves.  It grows clusters of flowers that are purple to pink and each flower has three petals.  Spiderwort will usually grow taller than the grasses around it and can easily be spotted.

 

Control
Full control of Spiderwort will take more than one herbicide application.  Triclopyer ester (Remedy, others) herbicides at 32 fl oz/acre provide the best control.  Regrowth from the thick stems may likely occur three months after the herbicide application.  Other herbicides are even less effective.  If plants are few, hand removal my be the better option.

For more information on Spiderwort:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag407