Weed Identification: Identify Pests with New Tool From UF/IFAS

Clint Thompson Florida, Pests, Top Posts

Proper weed identification is key in eradicating it from the landscape or a field. University of Florida/IFAS has developed a set of resources for homeowners and vegetable growers to follow to avoid misidentification.

Palmer amaranth (top) and Florida pusley (bottom) are two common summer annual weeds.

“If you don’t take the time to identify the weed first, often times you may treat it incorrectly,” said Chris Marble, associate professor of environmental horticulture at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center. “Applying the wrong herbicide or applying incorrectly can cause irreversible damage to a landscape and sometimes only the weed you were trying to eliminate will remain.”

To make best use of the resources, follow these steps:

  • Visit the online identification tool and select the flower color of the weed in question.
  • Once identified, select the accompanying video linked on the weed’s landing page and watch for more information on the weed and management strategies.

The tool, developed by Annette Chandler, a biological scientist at UF/IFAS MREC, helps identify 130 of the most common weeds found in Florida. It helps users identify weeds in their landscape and develop a plan of attack with management recommendations from Marble.

“Florida’s weed pressure is really high year-round,” said Marble. “We don’t get freezes very often to kill them off. In most places a summer annual is only going to be a problem five to six months out of the year. But here in Florida, it still germinates at my house in Winter Park in mid-December. It never really stops here. There is heavy weed pressure all the time.”

For more information on weed control, Ask IFAS or contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.