Dec. 1, 2022
shrubby false buttonweed, Spermacoce verticillata
One person's invasive is another's biological control? This native false buttonweed can be a pesky weed if it takes root in pastures or gardens. But it is the nectar plant for Larra bicolor, a parasitic wasp. That wasp is a biological control for invasive mole crickets, which cause crop damage. So to have cricket control you need Larra, and for those you need false buttonweed. Not only that, but your Larra wasps have to be from Bolivia. Larra from Brazil are not cold tolerant enough to survive in some areas that the crickets tolerate. Shrubby false buttonweed grows in FL and TX. Hillsborough Co FL, 1/24/13. Madder family, Rubiaceae.