Invasive Weed With White Tuber – Rattlesnake Weed

Invasive white tuber

Q: I have a very invasive weed in one area of my garden. It has a thick white tuber at the end of a medium-length root. This winter it has spread considerably. 

A: I bet you have nasty old rattlesnake weed, so-named because the white tuber resembles a rattlesnake’s rattles. Another name is Florida betony and it’s really tough to control. A six-inch layer of wood chips will inhibit sprouting but that’s not practical in a garden. The chemical alternative is to spray or wipe glyphosate (Roundup, etc) on the weed’s leaves whenever you spot them. DON’T move dirt from an infested area to a “clean” area. Every morsel of broken tuber can resprout. The foliage disappears when summer arrives. This pest will keep spreading aggressively if you don’t do anything.

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