Synonym(s): Benghal dayflower
Duration and Habit: Perennial Herb
Leaves are alternate, lily-like, 1.2-2.8 in. (3-7 cm) long and often have reddish hairs towards the tip. Aboveground flowers are very small with relatively large lilac to blue petals and are present from the spring into the fall. Underground flowers, which grow on burrowing rhizomes, are white and very small.
Ecological Threat: Tropical spiderwort forms, dense, pure stands, smothering out other plants, especially low-growing crops. It has been reported recently as a problem in cotton in Alabama. In pastures, it grows rapidly over desirable grasses and legumes, competing with them for light and nutrients. In rice and other lowland crops it may be almost subaquatic withstanding flooding and waterlogged conditions, but they can also be found in cultivated lands, field borders, gardens, grasslands, roadsides, and waste places, and can become the dominant species in pastures.
Biology & Spread: The plants reproduce by seeds, stolons, and rooting at nodes of stems. One plant can produce as many as 1600 seeds.
History: Was first found in the United States in 1963.
U.S. Habitat: Benghal dayflower invades areas with moist soil including roadsides, grasslands and other disturbed areas.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced
Native Origin: Asia and Africa
U.S. Present: AL, CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, NC
Distribution: Currently not found in Texas.
If you believe you have found tropical spiderwort, please report this species.
False dayflower (Commelinantia anomala)
Property managers and cooperators may use these strategies:
Cultural Control: Plants readily root at the nodes of the creeping stems, especially when cut or broken, making these weeds difficult to control in field areas. Sections on the soil surface root readily during rainy weather or in the shade of crop plants.
Chemical Control:University of Florida tests conducted in 2000 showed that Command and Spartan used in combination or alone were effective April to early June, but effectiveness trailed off later in the season. Methods Development has found that 46 brands of herbicide are labeled for use on dayflower. However, farmers in Florida have not been able to control tropical spiderwort effectively with chemicals. Control with herbicides is difficult because many seeds germinate after the initial flush of summer weeds and part of the seeds are produced underground.
Biological Control: None is known.
Domestic Programs Pest Evaluation. Arthur E. Miller, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, AERO, Raleigh, NC. November 26, 2001.
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