Native to South America but an escape from cultivation that now can be found from California to the southeast states of North Carolina to Florida.
A winter annual that often infests turf, looking initially like a grass weed with its grass-like leaves. Reproduction is from seeds that germinate in the fall, with flowering occurring in early spring.
Mature plants are typically iris-like, with thick, flattened leaves. However, they are tiny plants and mix in easily with turf, adapting to low mowing by growing their leaves flattened to the ground. All leaves grow from the central area at the base.
Flowers grow on long stalks and are violet to white with a dark purple center area. There are 6 petals that are elongate and pointed, and well separated from each other to give the flower a “star” shape. The seed pods that form are up to ¼ inch in diameter and round.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Moist soils are preferred, and the strong, fibrous root system makes physical removal difficult. These are biologically broad leaf plants, so a selective herbicide should control them in turf.