Botanical name – Aphanes arvensis
Family – Rosaceae
Aliases – Western-lady’s mantle, parsley breakstone, slender parsley piert
Parsley piert general information
Parsley piert is an annual weed and is found in all types of habitats, including waste areas, bare ground, grassy pastures and turf. It is particularly troublesome in lawns and turf where thin or bare areas have been allowed to develop, through poor turf care practices. It prefers dry, under nourished soils, so maintaining adequate nutrition and moisture levels is important to discourage this weed.
Parsley piert reproduces by seed and it forms in a tight, low growing mat that can colonise a lawn or an area of turf very quickly. It can easily tolerate close a low height of cut and close mowing may actually encourage the formation and spread of this weed.
It has various medicinal uses, including the treatment of bladder and kidney infections.
Parsley piert identification
The small leaves (similar to parsley) can measure up to 12mm across and consist 3 leaflets, with each leaflet being cut into 3 or four deeply cut lobes.
The plants produce tiny green flowers at the base of the leaves which are very difficult to spot.
Prevention and control of parsley piert
Encourage a tight, healthy sward of grass with good turf care practices to prevent weeds from invading.
Avoid mowing the grass too low. This places stress on the sward and may lead to thin, weak or even bare areas in the turf. This gives this weed the perfect opportunity to invade.
Maintain adequate levels of soil moisture, especially during hot dry summer.
Ensure the turf receives adequate nutrition with a balanced feed program.
Hand weeding can be very effective in removing parsley piert, as it is mostly shallow rooted and easily removed, especially when the soil is on the damp side.
Parsley piert is difficult to control with chemicals (selective weed killer) as it is resistent to many of the active ingredients used. In most situations a single application will not be enough, further applications may be needed to control the weed. If chemicals are to be used, only treat the infected area by spot treating the weed, to avoid the unnecessary use of chemicals.
Selective herbicides recommended for the control of parsley piert
Professional products (The user requires the appropriate certificate/s to apply these products)
- Headland Relay Turf (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- React Ultra (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Bayer Longbow (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Barclay Holster XL (2,4-D, Fluroxypyr, Dicamba)
- Mascot Greenor (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
- Vitax Esteem (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores.)
- Verdone extra (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)
- Resolva lawn weed killer (2,4-D, Mecoprop-p, MCPA, Dicamba)
- Vitax Lawn Clear (2,4-D, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Weedol lawn weed killer (Clopyralid, Fluroxypyr, MCPA)