Doveweed

doveweed grass

Type of Weed: Grassy Weed

Murdannia nudiflora

Doveweed

Doveweed is a summer annual weed that is a common invader of lawns and gardens in the southeastern United States. This weed prefers moist environments and spreads by using its above-ground creeping stems (stolons).

How to Identify

Doveweed is often difficult to spot in turf grass as it grows in spreading clumps of short, narrow but thick, green leaves that look similar to St. Augustine or centipede grass blades. However, with time this weed can be more clearly identified by the blue or purple colored flowers it produces. Doveweed germinates in the spring, grows in the summer, and dies off in the first frost. Seeds spread in the summer and can survive for years in the soil.

Control Methods

Control Difficulty: Very Difficult

Early detection and prevention are the best means of control for this weed, which is made difficult due to its close resemblance to turf grass. Some post-emergent herbicides have been known to be effective against doveweed, but they must be applied early in germination before the stolons are grown. The best form of controlling doveweed is professional prevention products.

Prevention Tips

Doveweed thrives in wet areas so avoid overwatering lawns and have your lawn aerated twice a year to improve soil drainage. Maintain a thick, healthy turf to prevent too much sunlight reaching the soil to germinate weed seeds.

Preventative herbicides can be effective at suppressing doveweed growth, but application timing must be not too long before spring germination. Professional herbicide treatments are the best way to go.
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