'Florida snow' spotted along roadways

Posted 11/28/22

When it comes to “Florida Snow,” beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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'Florida snow' spotted along roadways

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When it comes to “Florida Snow,” beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

This time of year, Florida pulsey, also called Florida Snow or Mexican clover, can be seen along highways and in lawns, with tiny white flowers sprinkled like snowflakes.

Some people think the flowers are pretty. Others consider the plant a weed.

Florida snow is non-native and invasive. It is originally from South America. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council lists large-flower pusley as a Category II Invasive plant which “have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species. These species may become ranked Category I if ecological damage is demonstrated.” 

Two other species are closely related to Florida pusley (Richardia scabra). R. grandiflora, aka, largeflower pusley has larger blooms which can be pink, blue or violent. R. brasiliensis, has thicker roots. Both species reproduce by both seeds and stem/root sections.

While Florida snow is considered an invasive species, it does provide ground cover in some areas  with poor soil. It also provides food for bees and butterflies.

If you don’t want Florida snow in your lawn, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommendations include:

  • Frequent mowing to interrupt the life cycle and prevent flowering and seed-set;
  • Use of pre-emergent herbicides to inhibit seed germination; and
  • Careful selection of broadleaf post-emergent herbicides.

If you wish to banish the Florida snow from your lawn, treat it when you first see a few flowers. The flowers quickly go to seed and the plant can rapidly spread from a small patch to most of the lawn.

Information for this article came from UF/IFAS.

 

Florida snow

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