Whitehead Broom

Spermacoce verticillata

Whitehead Broom is a perennial broadleaf weed that is also referred to as Shrubby False Buttonweed. Its scientific name is Spermacoce verticillata.

Identify

Opposite

Opposite

Entire

Entire

Elliptical

Elliptical

Whitehead Broom can be identified by its multibranched stems, which root at the nodes. It has smooth, veiny leaves tapering to a sharp tip and a sharp base with a short petiole. The leaves grow opposite each other but have also been seen to appear in whorls at the nodes. Whitehead Broom features small, white flowers forming in clusters at the upper nodes and flowers in warm months (spring through autumn).

Life Cycle

This broadleaf weed thrives in open or disturbed sandy areas, especially in grass and pinelands. Whitehead Broom can be found in the southern parts of the United States, namely Florida and Texas.

Life Cycle Image

Control

Strong cultural practices, such as proper mowing and watering, can help prevent Spermacoce verticillata by creating dense grass, which inhibits this broadleaf weed’s ability to grow. Physical removal (i.e., pulling weeds) can be effective, though you run the risk of spreading the seeds to additional areas of your lawn and landscaping.

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