Evaluation of herbaceous perennials as weed suppressive groundcovers for use along roadsides or in landscapes.

Seok Hyun Eom, Andrew Senesac, Irene Tsontakis-Bradley, Leslie Weston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fifteen herbaceous perennials were evaluated in field experiments in two New York State locations to determine their utility in roadside and landscape areas as weed suppressive groundcovers. Four species, Alchemilla mollis, Nepeta x faassenii, Phlox subulata, and Solidago sphacelata were strongly weed suppressive in both managed (weeds removed) plots and unmanaged (weeds not removed) plots. Weed suppressivity of perennial groundcovers was significantly increased in year two in both locations when perennials were well established. The most suppressive perennials showed several similar characteristics likely associated with their successful establishment. Successful groundcovers possessed dense foliage which strongly reduced light transmittance at the soil surface and emerged relatively early in spring. Lamiastrum galeobdolon and Thymus praecox proved to be more successful over a 2-year period when managed by weed removal in early spring. Although Leymus arenarius, a relatively tall monocot, also inhibited weed growth, this species demonstrated invasive characteristics due to its spread outside plots by fast-growing rhizomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-203
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Horticulture
Volume23
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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