Snow in Florida. St. Lucie Extension Explains the White Flowers Blooming on Lawns

in Florida? St. Lucie Extension Explains the White Flowers Blooming on Lawns

Many south Floridians are seeing snow or what appears to be the white fluffy precipitation that usually only those north of the Mason-Dixon Line witness. This phenomenon is actually for some a ‘weed’ – a variety of Richardia or pusley. This plant can infiltrate your yard through seed dispersal, maybe from a neighboring yard, or from a company that mows many yards, although most professionals know to wash down mowers in between sites to prevent the movement of pests, diseases and weeds from one yard to the next.

Pusley comes in three different species, Richardia grandiflora, largeflower pusley; R. scabra, Florida pusley (yes it’s a native) and R. brasiliensi, Brazil pusley. Pusley is a small-leaved ground cover with pretty little flowers and is found flowering everywhere this time of year. The flowers are usually white, occasionally pink or lavender and somewhat funnel-shaped. Each flower produces three nutlets, considering there are approximately 20 flowers in each cluster- that’s a lot of seeds.

Pusley’s low growing habit allows it to escape mower blades, enabling massive seed production to continue. There are a few chemicals available that may provide control, Atrazine and Mansion, before using either: Identify the pusley you have and the type of grass you in your lawn by reviewing this document written by Dan Culbert, a former Okeechobee Extension agent.

Before you reach for the control measures, decide do you need a perfect monoculture or do you like the look of a northern landscape. Pusley flowers attract butterflies and the foliage is sought after by Gopher tortoises. Another control measure is weeding; it’s great for eliminating stress. The main method of control is seed head removal. Remember weed control in St. Augustine is less necessary if the turf is maintained in a healthy condition. A healthy blanket of grass will not allow weed seeds to germinate.

For more information please contact the St. Lucie County Master Gardeners at 772-462-1660 or in Port St. Lucie 772-337-5654 or visit our website at

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  • Posted 9 years ago

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