COMMON SOUTH FLORIDA WEEDS & DISEASES

The following images and descriptions are for educational purposes only. They may be able to help you identify certain lawn diseases. If you believe your lawn might be compromised, feel free to contact our office and a licensed technician can further assist you.

Brown Patch

Rhizoctonia

Brown patch is a turfgrass disease that is caused by the Rhizoctonia species fungus. This turfgrass disease is most common Brown patch can be found in all of the cool season turfgrasses found in the United States. 

Brown patch symptoms differ depending on the various maintenance practices performed on the turfgrass (mowing height, fertilizer, watering, etc.) Symptoms on turfgrasses that are wet for extended periods and are closely mowed will produce a distinctive gray-purplish bordered ring "smoke-ring" that is up to 50 cm in diameter. While on taller cut grasses that are not wet for extended periods of time will begin to produce patches that can be several feet in diameter and may have a "frogeye" appearance. The Rhizoctonia species thrives in temperatures ranging from 70°F to 90°F but can survive in freezing temperatures.

If severe enough or on high valued turf (ex. golf greens) summer patch can be controlled with the use of fungicides. The application of fungicides is usually done on a curative basis. Apply fungicides at the very first sign of Brown patch symptoms.

Dayflower Weed

Commelina communis

The dayflower is considered an invasive weed in many areas where it has been introduced. The plant will not affect ecosystem processes, but may alter plant community composition by out competing one or more native plant species. Within its native distribution, the plant is most typical of moist, open places, including shady forest edges and wet areas of crop fields, orchards, ditches, and roadsides.

Yellow Dandelion

Taraxacum

The species of Taraxacum are tap-rooted, perennial, herbaceous plants, native to temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Dandelion pollen may cause allergic reactions when eaten, or adverse skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Contact dermatitis after handling has also been reported, probably from the latex in the stems and leaves. Due to its high potassium level, dandelion can also increase the risk of hyperkalemia when taken with potassium-sparing diuretics.

Wedelia

Sphagneticola Trilobata

It has a very wide ecological tolerance range, but grows best in sunny areas with well-drained, moist soil at low elevations. It is spread by people as an ornamental or ground cover that is planted in gardens, and then it is spread into surrounding areas by dumping of garden waste. It spreads vegetatively, not by seed. It rapidly forms a dense ground cover, crowding away and preventing other plant species from regenerating. This species is widely available as an ornamental and is therefore likely to spread further.

It is a noxious weed in agricultural land, along roadsides urban waste places and other disturbed sites. It is also invasive along streams, canals, along the borders of mangrove swamps and in coastal vegetation.

Garden Spurge

Spotted Spurge

Garden Spurge is a fast-growing annual plant in the family Euphorbiaceae, native to North America. It is a common garden and lawn weed in the United States. Prostrate spurge invading disturbed soil.

It grows in sunny locations and a variety of soils, and functions as a pioneer species in ecological succession. The sap of this plant is a mild skin irritant and can cause a rash in some people. The sap is poisonous and considered carcinogenic.

Dollar Weed

Hydrocotyle Umbellata

Hydrocotyle umbellata, is an aquatic plant that thrives in wet, sandy habitat. Its English common name is manyflower marshpennywort or dollarweed. It is native to North America and parts of South America. It can also be found growing as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed on other continents. It is an edible weed that can be used in salads or as a pot herb.

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