Florida Betony Biology and Management in Turf1

J. Bryan Unruh, Ramon G. Leon, and Darcy E. P. Telenko 2

Florida betony (Stachys floridana) is a perennial broadleaf. It is sometimes called rattlesnake weed because its underground stems produce fleshy, white, segmented tubers that resemble a rattlesnake's rattle. A branched, erect stem is produced from thin, white underground runners and the fleshy tubers. Leaves are opposite, simple, shovel shaped, toothed, and long stalked. Pinkish-purple flowers produce fruit composed of four nutlets. Reproduction occurs primarily through the tubers. Florida betony is native to Florida and was confined to Florida until it escaped in the 1940s or 1950s in nursery stock and is now found from Texas to North Carolina.

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Figure 1. 

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Figure 2. 

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Figure 3. 

Herbicide Options for Controlling Florida Betony in Florida Turfgrass

Due to its ability to reproduce through tubers, it is important to use herbicides that can move within the plant after absorption and reach those tubers to ensure effective control of Florida betony.

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

Bermudagrass

  • Preemergence: prodiamine+isoxaben

  • Postemergence: 2,4-D, 2,4-D+dicamba, amicarbazone, dicamba, foramsulfuron, metsulfuron, penoxsulam+sulfentrazone+dicamba+2,4-D, thiencarbazone+iodosulfuron+dicamba, triclopyr+clopyralid, trifloxysulfuron

St. Augustinegrass

  • Preemergence: atrazine, prodiamine+isoxaben

  • Postemergence: amicarbazone, atrazine, 2,4-D, dicamba, metsulfuron, penoxsulam+sulfentrazone+dicamba+2,4-D, thiencarbazone+iodosulfuron+dicamba

Centipedegrass

  • Preemergence: amicarbazone, atrazine, prodiamine+isoxaben

  • Postemergence: atrazine, 2,4-D, dicamba, penoxsulam+sulfentrazone+dicamba+2,4-D, triclopyr+clopyralid, thiencarbazone+iodosulfuron+dicamba

Bahiagrass

  • Preemergence: prodiamine+isoxaben

  • Postemergence: 2,4-D, 2,4-D+dicamba, dicamba, penoxsulam+sulfentrazone+dicamba+2,4-D, triclopyr+clopyralid

Seashore Paspalum

  • Preemergence: prodiamine+isoxaben

  • Postemergence: amicarbazone, penoxsulam+sulfentrazone+dicamba+2,4-D

Zoysiagrass

  • Preemergence: atrazine, prodiamine+isoxaben

  • Postemergence: amicarbazone, atrazine, 2,4-D, 2,4-D+dicamba, dicamba, foramsulfuron, metsulfuron, penoxsulam+sulfentrazone+dicamba+2,4-D, thiencarbazone+iodosulfuron+dicamba, triclopyr+clopyralid, trifloxysulfuron

Perennial Ryegrass

  • Preemergence: none

  • Postemergence: 2,4-D, 2,4-D+dicamba, dicamba, triclopyr+clopyralid

Refer to the publication Pest Control Guide for Turfgrass Managers at http://turf.ufl.edu/pdf/2012_UF_Pest_Control_Guide.pdf for brand names associated with chemical names listed.

Footnotes

1. This document is ENH1127, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 2009. Revised February 2013 and April 2016. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. J. Bryan Unruh, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Ramon G. Leon, assistant professor, Agronomy Department; and Darcy E. P. Telenko, former postdoctoral research associate; UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center, Jay, FL 32565.