Authors: Jed McCoy, Corey Garrison, Justin Hickman
What is Chamberbitter?
Chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria) is a member of the Spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), sometimes referred to as gripeweed, leafflower, or little mimosa. It is native to Asia, but has found its way across the southeast and into Texas. Chamberbitter is a warm-season broadleaf annual and usually emerges around May or June when the soil temperatures have warmed to approximately 70oF. It spreads by seeds that are located on the bottom side of the branch. Ornamental beds and turfgrass are the two most common places to find Chamberbitter. In South America, this plant is believed to be good for medicinal purposes; specifically, treatment of kidney stones.
What does Chamberbitter look like?
Chamberbitter can grow tall and thin, which can be aesthetically unpleasing. The leaves grow in two alternating rows. Leaves are thin and smooth which resemble the seedling of a mimosa plant. It is best identified by the fruiting structures on the underside of the branch which produce numerous seeds. These seed capsules can explode and spread seeds over a large area. Also, like some spurge, if you break the stem, it will produce a milky white sap.
How do I control Chamberbitter?
Chamberbitter can be a difficult weed to control. It is drought tolerant and grows rapidly. Seeds on the underside of the plant can be produced in as little as two weeks. If making a pre-emergent herbicide application, Chamberbitter control is often unreliable because it germinates later in the spring than most summer annual weeds.
- Frequent mowing
- Hand pulling
- In landscape beds, 1-3 inch mulch layer will block seed from receiving light
- Three-way herbicides containing dicamba, 2,4-D, mecoprop (MCPP)
- Isoxaben (Gallery 75DF)