NC State Extension Publications


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Facelis (Facelis retusa), also called annual trampweed, is a low-growing, winter annual broadleaf weed that is commonly found in warm-season lawns, pastures, sandy fields and waste areas. This plant is a native of South America but has become established in the United States as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and northeast into Tennessee and North Carolina. Facelis has freely branched stems at the base that recline along the ground. The stems are covered with tufts of long, soft hairs. Facelis leaves are alternate, generally lack petioles and have a narrow shape. The lower leaf surface is covered with white tufts of long hairs, and the upper surface is dull green. The leaf apex is indented to rounded, usually with a tiny sharp point. Facelis produces small white flowers and reproduces by seed in the spring. Volumes of feathery seed, similar in appearance to dandelion seed, can cover a lawn 2 - 3 inches deep.

Cultural Control

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Facelis can easily invade thin, poorly managed warm-season lawns. Winter annual broadleaf weeds such as facelis germinate in the fall or winter and grow during any warm weather, which may occur in the winter, but otherwise remain somewhat dormant during the winter. They resume growth and produce seed in the spring and die as temperatures increase in late spring and early summer. They quickly invade thin turf areas especially where there is good soil moisture. Shade may also encourage growth. A dense, vigorous turf is the best way to reduce the encroachment of this weed. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.

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) (Tenacity) 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.​

Species Data

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    • winter annual weed
    • one
    • leaf apex is indented to rounded, usually with a tiny sharp point
    • white tufts of long hairs on lower surface
    • linear / oblong; leaves generally lack petioles and have a narrow shape
    • <12 inch
    • alternate
    • white
Facelis growth habit.

Figure 1. Facelis growth habit.

Facelis growth habit.

Figure 2. Facelis growth habit.


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

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Publication date: Nov. 21, 2017

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