Originating from the southeastern United States and the West Indies, Dense mat weed (Chamaesyce hypericifolia) is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. Its current range covers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Found amidst roadsides, lawns, and blooming gardens, this low-growing plant generously emits an abundance of oval to heart-shaped leaves. Ranging from 2-5 cm (0.8-2.0 in) in length and 1-3 cm (0.4-1.2 in) across, its edges appear smooth or slightly serrated while the top side of the foliage remains bright green and bald, unlike its reverse which hosts a pale complexion and a minor covering of fuzzy hairs. The plant further flaunts its beauty with white flowers in clusters, formed at leaf axils, bearing a three-lobed capsule containing a small, black fruit.
Dense mat weed is a pesky plant that spreads quickly, crowding out native vegetation and setting up shop wherever it can. Its particularly troublesome nature is compounded by the fact that it generates thousands of seeds which are capable of leaving long-term legacies, lingering in the soil for multiple years.
In order to keep dense mat weed from overtaking your yard or garden, prevention is key. Clear away any and all vegetation in the area to eliminate potential overwintering sites for the weed’s seeds. Additionally, make sure surrounding region is free of weeds. You may also find it useful to use mulch as it can reduce germination. If the weed has already become established in your land, however, fear not; there are still measures you can take—including hand-pulling, mowing, and application of herbicides—to manage the problem.
Post time: 2023-06-20