Native to tropical America and found throughout South and Central America, in the United States from Florida north along the Atlantic coast states to Pennsylvania, as well as in Hawaii.
A summer annual weed that has prostrate, creeping stems that are able to root at the nodes. Plants may form thick foliage with their wide leaves, crowding out turfgrasses. Occurs in turf, along roadsides, and in most disturbed habitats. Reproduction is from seeds.
Mature plants may be as tall as 2 feet, but stems tend to sprawl and grow along the ground as well. Leaves are smooth and very wide, with pointed tips, and with a slightly folded appearance. The sheath at the base of the leaf has hairs along its margin and a ligule composed of a hairy ring is present. The flowering spike consists of alternating branches at the end of the stem, with from 3 to 10 branches extending laterally from the stem and with the seeds forming on the lower edge.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
When occurring in turf it may be prevented with pre-emergent herbicides applied prior to germination of the seeds. Post-emergent control in turf may be possible with applications of MSMA.