NC State Extension Publications


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Doveweed (Murdannia nudiflora) is a summer annual weed that usually germinates later in the growing season than most other summer annual weeds and becomes a problem late in the summer. Doveweed closely resembles a grass. Upon closer inspection, you will find that doveweed has stems that root at the nodes and purple flowers that appear on short stalks in clusters. The leaves are linear, and approximately 34 to 4 inches long. Leaf sheaths have soft hairs on the upper margins. Fruits are classified as capsules and are only 0.12 to 0.2 inches (3 to 5 mm) wide.

Cultural Control

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Maintain a dense, actively growing turf through proper mowing, fertilizing, and watering practices. Mow at the proper height for your selected adapted turfgrass. Coring and traffic control reduce compaction and encourage desirable turfgrass competition. It is best to control this summer annual broadleaf weed in late spring or early summer because it is easier to control at this time and the turf will have a greater chance of recovering the areas previously occupied by weeds.

Chemical Control

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Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
mesotrione, MOA 27 (4 SC) 0.092 to 0.183 fl oz 4 to 8 fl oz 0.125 to 0.25
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: For use in residential and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, golf course fairways and roughs, roadsides, utility right-of-ways, railways, and industrial areas. Apply to turf following a second mowing if a good root system has been established. Apply up to 12 fluid ounces per acre to bentgrass at 0.5 inch or higher, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Apply 18 to 24 fluid ounces per acre to perennial bluegrass, tall fescue, and all warm season grasses except St. Augustinegrass (do not apply) and bermudagrass (apply 18 to 36 fluid ounces per acre). For sod production, apply 6 months after establishment, and do not harvest within 3 months. Do not apply with adjuvants or surfactants. [Sulfentrazone + prodiamine should not be applied to cool-season turf with N-containing fertilizers unless some short-term discoloration is tolerable.​
Postemergence Control
[thiencarbazone-methyl + iodosulfuron-methyl + dicamba], MOA 14 + 2 + 4 (68 WG) (Celsius WG) 0.057 to 0.113 oz 2.5 to 4.9 oz 0.106 to 0.208
Precaution and Remarks: For use by licensed applicators in residential and commercial lawns, golf courses (excluding greens), sports fields, parks, recreational areas, roadsides, school grounds, and sod farms. Provides up to 60 days residual control. Use on bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and St Augustinegrass. Apply maximum 7.4 ounces per acre per season. Safe to use at high temperatures. Ryegrass can be overseeded 2 weeks after application. Apply 30 days prior to seeding bermudagrass or zoysiagrass. Wait 2 weeks after bermudagrass seedlling emergence or sprigging operation before applying. For zoysiagrass, wait 3 weeks after seedling emergence before applying. A nonionic surfactant or methylated seed oil at 0.25% v/v is required for optimum control. ​
[thiencarbazone-methyl + foramsulfuron + halosulfuron], MOA 14 + 2 + 2 (60.5 WG) (Tribute Total) 0.0735 oz 3.2 oz 0.121
Precaution and Remarks: Apply to well-established residential and commercial bermudagrass and zoysiagrass (Emerald, Meyer, Zeon) lawns, golf courses (excluding greens), athletic fields, sod farms, roadsides, parks, cemeteries and recreational areas. Do not exceed 3.2 ounces per acre per application or 6.4 ounces per acre yearly. Use 0.25 to 0.5% by volume nonionic surfactant or 0.5 to 1% by volume methylated seed oil. After application, wait 12 weeks to overseed ryegrass or bermudagrass. Wait 1 month after bermudagrass seedling emergence and 2 weeks after sprigging or sodding bermudagrass before treating. Temporary stunting and yellowing may last up to 2 weeks but turf will recover. Crabgrass and goosegrass are controlled up to 2 tiller stage.​

Species Data

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    • summer annual weed
    • smooth
    • soft hairs on leaf sheath upper margins
    • linear / oblong
    • 0.08 - 0.2 inches (2 to 5 mm) wide
    • parallel
    • fibrous
    • blue / purple
Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 1. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 2. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 3. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 4. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 5. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 6. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed growth habit.

Figure 7. Doveweed growth habit.

Doveweed leaflet number.

Figure 8. Doveweed leaflet number.

Doveweed leaf arrangement.

Figure 9. Doveweed leaf arrangement.

Doveweed leaf arrangement.

Figure 10. Doveweed leaf arrangement.


Extension Specialist (Turfgrass/Forage Crop Weed Mgt)
Crop & Soil Sciences

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Publication date: Nov. 21, 2017

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