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Publication #ENH1236

Spreading Dayflower Biology and Management in Turf1

J. Bryan Unruh, Darcy E. P. Telenko, Barry J. Brecke, and Ramon Leon2

Spreading dayflower (Commelina diffusa) is a succulent annual that produces freely branched smooth stems. Leaves are broadly lance-shaped with closed sheaths. Sheaths are short with a few soft hairs on the upper margin. Flowers have three blue petals in a leaf-like structure open on the margins. Reproduction occurs via seed and stem fragments.

Figure 1. 

Spreading dayflower


Creative Commons: IRRI Images

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Herbicide options for controlling spreading dayflower in Florida turfgrass

Always refer to the label for specific uses, application rates, and turfgrass tolerance.

Refer to the publication Pest Control Guide for Turfgrass Managers at for brand names associated with chemical names listed.


  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: bentazon, imazaquin, simazine, sulfentrazone+imazethapyr, sulfentrazone+2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba, trifloxyfulfuron

St. Augustinegrass

  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: atrazine, bentazon, imazaquin, simazine


  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: atrazine, bentazon, imazaquin, simazine, sulfentrazone+imazethapyr, sulfentrazone+2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba


  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: bentazon, sulfentrazone+imazethapyr, sulfentrazone+2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba

Seashore Paspalum

  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: bentazon, imazaquin


  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: atrazine, bentazon, imazaquin, simazine, sulfentrazone+imazethapyr, sulfentrazone+2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba, trifloxysulfuro

Perennial Ryegrass

  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: bentazon, sulfentrazone+2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba



This document is ENH1236, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date December 2013. Reviewed October 2016. Visit the EDIS website at Adapted from: Tim R. Murphy, Daniel L. Colvin, Ray Dickens, John W. Everest, David Hall, and L.B. McCarty. Weeds of Southern Turfgrasses. University of Florida, 1992.


J. Bryan Unruh, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Darcy E. P. Telenko, postdoctoral research associate; Barry J. Brecke, professor; and Ramon Leon, assistant professor, Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.