10 July 2011

Catch Me if You Can - Hophornbeam Copperleaf - Threeseed is Acalypha ostryifolia

It seems that every state extension service I checked this morning is talking about a weed/pest in my flower beds. I don't think I've ever seen the infestation so bad as this year. Of course, I blame the heat because I'm blaming the record breaking heat for everything right now.
The topic of my dismay is Hophornbeam Copperleaf.According to the Plant Encyclopedia online, and other references, it has many pretty relatives including Chenille Plant.

Here's the Illinois post on Acalypha ostryifolia
http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/pastpest/articles/200107n.html

Hophornbeam copperleaf is a summer annual species in the Euphorbiaceae family. This plant family, also referred to as the Spurge family, includes several other problematic weed species, many of which have a milky sap. Hophornbeam copperleaf, however, does not contain the characteristic milky sap of other Euphorbiaceae family members. It is indigenous to Illinois and most commonly found in the southern third of the state. Over the past 5 years, however, we have identified populations in cornfields and soybean fields progressively farther north in the state, and in 2000 we identified a population as far north as Tazewell County. Several other copperleaf species can be found in Illinois, and while most of these other species are not generally considered problematic in agronomic production systems, Virginia copperleaf (Acalypha virginica) can be a troublesome weed species in southern Illinois.

University of Tennessee's pdf is here
https://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/Forms/DispForm.aspx?id=1686&InitialTabID=Ribbon.Read

Texas puts it in their top 25 problem weeds list (with photos for identification)
http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/programs/agronomy/publications/weed_control/tillage_weed_problems.php

University of Missouri gave it weed of the month status (a dubious distinction).
http://ppp.missouri.edu/newsletters/ipcm/archives/v21n13/a3.pdf

The Southeastern Flora site calls it Pineland threeseed mercury
http://www.southeasternflora.com/view_flora.asp?plantid=1348

Anyway, it has seeded and whenever I can get a minute away from watering to pull weeds, I take them out by the dozens.

Are you seeing this weed this year?

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