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Creeping Beggarweed

(Desmodium incanum)

Creeping Beggarweed is a perennial broadleaf weed that develops from a large taproot. Creeping Beggarweed has many branched runners capable of rooting at nodes along the stems. Leaves are composed of three leaflets of varying sizes. The leaflets are elliptic in shape, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base. Both the stems and leaves are hairy.

The flowers of creeping Beggarweed are pink to rose in color. The fruit is composed of a segmented seedpod with 6 segments that will separate and attach to clothing. Creeping Beggarweed spreads by seed, stolons or segments of the taproot.

Creeping Beggarweed is found through Florida and across the South into southern Texas.

What to look for: Creeping beggarweed has large dark green leaflets attached to the main stem and creeps along the ground.
Structure: Creeping beggarweed is low growing with creeping stems.
Life cycle: perennial
Reproduction: by seed, stolons and broken taproots
Leaves: dark green, grows in groups of three
Flowers: lowers pink to rose pea-like structure. Fruit with six to eight rounded segments, which are straight across the back when hooked together.
Roots: fibrous, forming from nodes to stem
Sites: sandy soils, Bahia or St. Augustinegrass
Growth period: mid-April to November
Treatment period: spring or early summer when weed is actively growing.

Cultural Practices:

Creeping beggarweed can be difficult to control due to its spreading ability by deep rhizomes. The plant also produces jointed seedpods that can be physically distributed. Beggarweed can tolerate close mowing. A dense turf produced by proper fertility practices and adequate irrigation to prevent moisture stress is the best practices to compete with beggarweed. Physical removal is difficult due to the deep rhizomes.

Herbicide Use:

For optimum control, make a post emergent herbicide application to creeping beggarweed that is young and actively growing.


Weed control and identification in your lawn and landscape