Photo: Mark Czarnota, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Mulberry weed, Fatoua villosa, is a summer annual (a perennial further south) that has an erect stem that can grow over 2 feet tall. If the plant is broken at the crown, it can produce multiple, shorter stems.
This plant resembles a seedling of a mulberry tree, but it has hairy leaves and stems. The leaves are triangular and alternate with serrated edges. Purple flowers are formed in small clusters at the base of the leaf petiole (at the nodes). They are present in summer and early fall. The color changes to brown as the seeds form.
Mulberry weed can be found in landscapes, woodlands and fields. This plant can set seeds even when it has been mowed. Hand removal before seeds are set is an option, though if pulling early in the season, make sure that the crown and roots come too. If not, it will regrow.
Pre-emergent herbicides include:
- isoxaben (Gallery) and oryzalin (Surflan).
Post-emergent herbicides include:
- 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP, clopyralid (Lontrel) and non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate.
Remember to always read the label to see if an herbicide is safe to use over the top of ornamental plants.