Friday, March 12, 2010

Florida Betony - One Tough Weed!

Florida betony is a tough, problematic perennial weed found throughout the southeast. Also known as wild artichoke or rattlesnake weed, Florida betony is especially noticeable from fall through spring when it is actively growing. Florida betony usually goes dormant (stops growing) in summer, but its roots continue to live in the soil, sending up new shoots in fall as temperatures cool. One of the easiest ways to identify Florida betony is by the tubers (shown left) that are produced underground. These tubers are long, white and segmented, and resemble a rattlesnake’s rattle or a large grub, and are actually edible. They may be several inches long and are able to store tremendous amounts of energy for the plant, which is why Florida betony is so tough to get rid of once it is established. Effectively controlling Florida betony requires persistence, and a different strategy is needed to control this difficult weed in lawns and landscape beds.

Read the entire article on the Pender County Cooperative Extension website:

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