- Author: Guy B Kyser
This has been a big year for purslane at the UC Davis farm. Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a succulent summer annual weed with fleshy leaves and rubbery-looking stems. Native to Eurasia, or maybe Africa, purslane arrived in the Americas with the first Europeans to settle here. It is a common weed in row crops worldwide.
Purslane is a tasty vegetable, either raw or cooked, and sometimes appears in farmer's markets and grocery stores. It is reported to be high in omega-3 fatty acids.
It's also a royal pain in the neck as a crop weed. Each plant produces thousands of tiny, long-lived seeds. The brittle stems make it difficult to pull or hoe, and stem fragments left on the soil will readily re-root. I once...
Dr. Mohsen Mesgaran, who joined the Weed Science Group this year as our weed ecophysiologist, found this plant growing on the research farm at UC Davis.
African spiderflower is a summer annual broadleaf plant in the caper family (Cleomaceae), growing up to 3 ft tall and wide. The flowers are white, somewhat tubular, with long red-to-orange stamens (see photos below). Interestingly, African spiderflower plants have three types of flowers - male, female, and hermaphroditic.
We have no idea how this plant got here. It is native to Africa, where the leaves are used as a vegetable; it is now widespread and invasive in many tropical to subtropical parts of the world. The USDA
- Author: Gale Perez
August 26, 2013
Japanese millet is not a weed of rice in our area. However, a PCA recently noticed it in an organic rice field. Japanese millet is in the same genus as our common watergrasses, and looks similar, but is much more robust. It seems to grow well under flooded...
Cilantro was produced on 5,543 acres in Monterey and Ventura Counties in 2011. The production of cilantro has shifted to high density 80-inch wide beds and a large proportion is now mechanically harvested. Hand weeding high density beds is very expensive and reduces the economic viability of this crop. As a result, there is a need for excellent weed control. Two broadleaf herbicides were registered on cilantro: Prefar and Caparol. Prefar was registered for a number of years and provides good control of a number of key weeds in cilantro such as purslane, lambsquarter and pigweed. Caparol was registered in 2012 and provides good weed control of a wider spectrum of weeds including the nightshades, shepherd’s purse, sow thistle,...
A video entitled, "Alternative Cultivators for Organic Vegetable Production" is now available on YouTube. The video was produced by Aaron Heinrich and Richard Smith and presents information on new developments in automated weed control technology and research information on blind cultivators such as torsion and finger weeders. The video can be accessed at:
For more information on alternative cultivation see the blog below. Also, go to