Researchers from Clemson University tracking the invasive Benghal dayflower are asking Beaufort-area residents to keep watch for the invasive weed.
Two patches of the weed were found on three properties near the Beaufort River bluff last fall by Clemson Department of Plant Industry officials. A team checked the area last week and found no reemergence of the plant, according to Christel Harden, who leads the inspections. However, the plant lies dormant in the winter and could reemerge. It can creep along the ground or grow upright. The flower has two large, blue petals and one smaller, white petal.
The most distinguishing difference between the Benghal dayflower and native dayflower species are small, white, round flowers that grow underground and small red hairs where the alternating oval leaves join. The leaves are also more round than those of the native species.
The weed is a menace to more than 20 crops, including cotton and soybeans. Once established in an agricultural area, it can seriously reduce crop yields, according to the department's website.
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If you see the weed, call 864-646-2140.