Tag Archive: Spotlight

Weed Spotlight: Chamberbitter, the “Little Mimosa”

Summer annual weeds are taking their last stand against Panhandle lawns before fall arrives. Rain and humid temperatures of late have boosted their growth spurts. Chamberbitter is a prime example.

Chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria) is found as north as Illinois and as west as Texas, but thrives in lower southeastern states. It’s a headache for homeowners as well as pasture managers. This is an annual broadleaf weed that emerges in summer months. The foliage resembles that of the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) and can be confused with the native mimosa groundcover, known as powderpuff mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa). This plant grows upright and develops a long taproot. Wart-like seeds can be found on the underside of the branch.

Figure 1: Chamberbitter, a common annual weed.

Credit: Mary Derrick, UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County.

To control Chamberbitter in a lawn, one must not allow the seed to disperse. This plant germinates in warm soil temperatures. Therefore, it’s best to treat your lawn by applying a pre-emergent herbicide around April. An atrazine herbicide has an 80% effective rate. However, once weeds have germinated, a post-emergent herbicide would need to be applied. Turfgrass herbicides with 2,4-D (with dicamba & mecoprop or MCPP) or atrazine have good results. These are common chemicals and are represented by many brand names. However, both products need to be applied in cooler temperatures. Consecutive days of temperatures of less than 90 degrees are sufficient; otherwise the chemical will harm the turfgrass. Be aware, some formulations will injure or kill centipede and St. Augustine, but are safe to use on bermuda, bahia and zoysia. Be sure to read the label and follow the directions and precautions.

Non-selective, post-emergent herbicides, like glyphosate (Roundup) can be used in thick patches or for spot treatment. When using a non-selective herbicide, remember to protect turfgrass and other plants from spray drift or any contact, especially regarding ornamental plants and trees. Hand pulling of these weeds is an option, especially in flower beds. Do not shake the soil from the roots. In doing so, you may inadvertently spread seeds.

Soon, temperatures will be low enough to use a post-emergent herbicide for a control method. If you are having issues with chamberbitter or other summer annual broadleaf weeds, remember to plan to apply a pre-emergent herbicide this coming spring. Contact Gulf County Extension at 639-3200 for more information.

Information for this article is from the Clemson Cooperative Extension publication: “Chamberbitter”, Bulletin HCIC 2314: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/pdf/hgic2314.pdf

UF/IFAS Extension is an Equal Opportunity Institution.


Author: Ray Bodrey – rbodrey@ufl.edu

Gulf County Extension Director, Agent II Agriculture & Natural Resource, Horticulture, Sea Grant

Ray Bodrey

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/08/weed-spotlight-chamberbitter-the-little-mimosa/

4-H Spotlight: Mark Harvey

Mark Harvey, Friend of 4-H

Mark Harvey is the manager of the North Florida Fair located at our capital city of Tallahassee. For the last thirteen years, Mark has worked diligently to promote both UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H Positive Youth Development. Mark took over as manager of the North Florida Fair after a successful 25 year career with the Tallahassee Police Department. He is husband to wife Suzanne, and they have raised four children. As manager of the North Florida Fair, he has systematically made positive changes to the fair to develop new partnerships to increase both funding and attract new audiences to the fair. One of his strategies has been to highlight the opportunities and strengths of the 4-H Positive Youth Development Program. With his background in law enforcement, he has long-been an advocate of positive youth development and understands why programs like 4-H have such high public value.

Mark’s commitment to 4-H goes far beyond the typical support of providing premiums to members and clubs for participation in exhibits and contests. In order to facilitate better exposure for the 4-H program and the UF/IFAS County Extension offices though continued expansion of still exhibits in two buildings at the fair as well as during the annual 4-H day where 4-H youth demonstrate their life skills though four different project competition areas. Mark has encouraged the 4-H Extension Faculty of the Northwest District to take advantage of the North Florida Fair as an opportunity to market 4-H and educate the public in the Tallahassee area about the value of our program. Each year, he provides up to $ 1,000.00 for building improvements, educational displays, new signage, and marketing materials. These funds have helped the agents develop interactive displays on the Butterfly WINGS program and 4-H gardening projects. This past year, Mark invested his own personal funds to secure the engineering exhibits from the Mary Brogan Museum. These interactive exhibits help youth and families explore basic engineering concepts such as levers, pulleys, torque, and gravity. They have drastically increased traffic into the 4-H building and pair especially well with 4-H engineering projects such as robotics. In fact, with Mark’s support, the North Florida Fair was the first regional fair to incorporate a junk drawer robotics competition during 4-H Day at the fair. To encourage participation, Mark allowed faculty to bring youth to the fair to experience the engineering exhibits and participate in a mock contest.

What I appreciate most about Mark is his accessibility and his willingness to entertain new ideas and methods. He never automatically says “no,” but considers carefully how to use our resources at the fair to educate, inspire, and make a difference in the lives of those who attend. Mark Harvey is definitely a friend to the 4-H program, and one of our biggest advocates who is helping to Make A Difference through the Florida 4-H Program.

Do you know of a 4-H volunteer or advocate that deserves the spotlight? Send your nominations to Heather Kent at hckent@ufl.edu.


Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/11/21/4-h-spotlight-mark-harvey/