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Pest Information

Southern Pencil-flower

Southern Pencil-flower

  • Latin Name: Stylosanthes Hamata
  • Common Name: Southern Pencil-flower
  • Other Names: Cheesy-toes

Pest Details

Southern Pencil-flower
Southern Pencil-flower
Southern Pencil-flower


A native plant in Florida, and found also in the West Indies.


A perennial weed with a very tough rootstock, making physical removal difficult. Plants have many trailing stems that produce a large, bushy plant that may cover several square feet of soil completely. Reproduction is from seeds. A common weed in turf, natural fields and open lots, as well as springing from soil gaps along parking lots and sidewalks.


Mature plants may be a foot high in a spreading, heavily foliated habit. The leaves are compound, divided into 3 elongated, lance-shaped leaflets that are slightly covered with soft hairs. The tiny yellow flowers occur singly at the tips of stems, scattered over the top of the foliage. The small seed pod has two joints, the upper one with the tip curved like a hook and with a seed enclosed, and the lower pod without a seed.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

A selective, systemic broadleaf herbicide will be effective when the weed is in turf, or a non-selective systemic herbicide for non-turf areas.

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