Gibson Priest

Gibson Priest

It seems that all of a sudden numerous lawns in Northwest Georgia are turning white.

Well, it is not snow, nor is it leftover cotton from last fall. The cottony appearance is due to the presence of a weed called Facelis.

Facelis is a winter annual member of the Astor family that reproduces by wind-blown seed. This weed reaches heights of 4 to 6 inches and has alternate wedge-shaped leaves with a small tooth at the tip. The upper leaf surface is green, while the lower leaf surface is densely gray due to the presence of leaf hairs.

Flowers are concealed; however, the seeds have soft, white bristle-like hair. With severe infestations the lawn becomes white when seeds are being released from the plant.

Typically, Facelis is found in lawns with a low density of turf grasses, as well as open droughty, low fertility, or clay soils. Facelis actually germinates in the fall and winter months, produces seed in late April to June, and then dies.

June is not the month to control Facelis as the weed is dying. Research has not been conducted on controlling Facelis in turf grasses. This weed does not appear on herbicide labels. How do we control this weed? Improve the fertility and pH of your lawn. Herbicides can be recommended to control this weed.

If you have any questions regarding weeds, you are welcome to contact the extension office at 770-749-2142 or email uge2233@uga.edu.

For more information and details on upcoming events, check out the Polk County Extension office on Facebook by searching “UGA Extension Polk County.”

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