Creeping Beggarweed in the Landscape (Desmodium incanum)
Introduction: Creeping beggarweed is a prostrate, ascending perennial weed that actively grows in the spring and summer (Wagner et al 1999). Located in pastures, residential and commercial landscapes, and in open undisturbed areas (Green et al., 2008). Creeping beggarweed is difficult to control in turf.
Description: Creeping beggarweed is a broadleaf perennial weed that develop from seeds, stolon or from a broken portion of its large taproot. Each petiole has three hairy leaflets that are alternate (Acevedo-Rodríguez 2005), round at the base and taper at the point. The plant blooms in the summer and its flower resembles the flower of a pea. The flower is pink to purple in color and is very conspicuous. Reproduction is mostly by seeds and dispersion occurs due to the sticky hairy hitchhiking seedpod (Mori and Brown 1998).
Preemergence Control: Creeping beggarweed has a large taproot and can be propagated from vegetative parts of the plant which makes preemergence ineffective.
Postemergence Control: Postemergence herbicide products that contain sulfentrazone (Dismiss), thiocarbazone-methyl (Celsius), dimethylamine salts (Trimec) are recommended to control creeping beggarweed in most warm season grasses. These herbicides are only given as examples and do exhaust the list of herbicides that are recommended for creeping beggarweed control. Triclopyr will provide good beggarweed control in Bahia and Zoysia turfgrasses but will injure St Augustinegrass. Before applying any herbicide, always read the label to ensure both the turf and the target weeds are listed on the label.
Control in Ornamentals: Products containing glyphosate such as Roundup and Farmwork provide good control of emerged creeping beggarweed.
Produced 3/2019 by: Grantly Ricketts, UF/IFAS/Osceola County Extension, Commercial Horticulture Agent.