Native to Latin America, but introduced to and common in Florida, as well as Hawaii and the West Indies. It also has found its way to the tropical regions of most other continents and Pacific Islands.
A perennial weed with a strong taproot, reproducing from seeds. Stems are normally prostrate and sprawling, but often ascend to produce the flower heads. The seeds have many hairs at their tips and easily attach to clothing or animal fur. The plants are common in turf and landscape, in open wooded areas, in along roadsides or any other disturbed habitat.
Plants can grow to be large and cover large areas of the soil, with their prostrate, sprawling stems. Stems and leaves are hairy, and the leaves are opposite and on short stalks. The margins of the leaves may have shallow lobes on them, and they are deeply toothed. The flowers occur on long stalks as single flower heads whose base is enclosed in the large calyx. The 5 ray flowers are white with notched tips, and the disc flowers are yellow. There is a distinct space between each of the ray flowers.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Physical removal of single plants is effective. When found in turf most members of the sunflower family can be effectively controlled with a selective broadleaf herbicide. Prevention of seed germination can be accomplished with a pre-emergent herbicide.