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Weed of the week : Artillery weed

Welcome to Weed Science Wednesday, a weekly series aimed at helping homeowners and horticulture professionals better identify and manage common landscape weeds in Florida.

The weed of the week is Artillery weed (Pilea microphylla). Artillery weed is increasingly becoming a nuisance in nurseries and landscapes in Florida. It prefers moist, disturbed areas and can be commonly found growing in container drain holes, ground cloth, rock mulch beds, and in planting beds.

Artillery weed growth through nursery ground cloth.
Credit: Annette Chandler, UF/IFAS

Artillery weed is a low growing succulent that can spread up to 2 feet in width and 1.5 feet in height. Stems are fragile, green, nearly translucent, succulent, and spreading. In Florida, it flowers year-round. The flowers are small, white to green in color with no petals. It spreads via seeds or vegetatively from stem fragments. Leaves are evergreen, egg-shaped with three primary veins originating from the leaf base. The seeds are small and ejected from the ripe fruit.

Artillery weed

Artillery weed stems.
Credit: Annette Chandler, UF/IFAS

For more information on artillery weed, including specific recommendations for chemical, physical and cultural weed control, please consult: Biology and Management of Pilea microphylla (Artillery Weed) in Ornamental Crop Production

 

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