An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

KHAKIWEED, creeping chaffweed


PIGWEED FAMILY-Amaranthaceae

KHAKIWEED-Alternanthera pungens H. B. K. (A. repens [L.] Ktze.)

DESCRIPTION-Khakiweed is a perennial which reproduces by seeds and thick, deep seated, woody vertical roots. The stems are prostrate or drooping on the ground, forming mats 1/2 to 2 feet in diameter. The plant is covered with jointed distinct hairs, especially at the stem nodes and on the backs of the stiff papery flower parts. The latter hairs are minutely barbed. The glossy leaves are opposite, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, appearing hairless, but usually with scattered hairs, particularly on the stalks. The 2 leaves of the same pair are often very unequal in size.

The small whitish flowers are in dense clusters around the stem at the base of the leaves. The rounded seeds are light reddish brown and shining.

DISTRIB[1TION-Khakiweed, a native of tropical America, has become one of the most pernicious pests in southern Arizona lawns in the last few years. It is very aggressive, and often covers large areas in Bermudagrass lawns, crowding out the Bermudagrass. Found also along roadsides, city streets, gardens, and cultivated fields in Cochise, Pima, and Santa Cruz counties; up to 5,500 feet elevation; flowering June to November.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents

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