Studies were conducted to determine the effect of interference between ladysthumb and cotton on plant growth and productivity. Ladysthumb remained shorter than cotton until at least 70 d after cotton planting. However, ladysthumb grew over twice as tall as cotton and, depending on plant density, produced between 179 and 681 g dry biomass per plant by cotton harvest. Ladysthumb biomass per plant was not affected by weed density when grown with cotton. When grown alone, ladysthumb produced over 2,000 g dry biomass per plant, which was over four times greater than biomass produced by plants grown with cotton. Cotton lint yield decreased between 0.7 and 0.9 kg ha−1 with each gram increase in weed dry biomass per meter of the row. The relationship between ladysthumb density and cotton percent yield loss was described by the rectangular hyperbola model with the asymptote (coefficient a) constrained to 100% maximum yield loss. The estimated coefficient i (yield loss per unit density as density approaches zero) was 35 ± 5 and 14 ± 2 in 1998 and 2000, respectively. Ladysthumb seed production was also described by the hyperbolic function. Estimated seed production at 1 plant m−1 of cotton row was 33,000 and 47,000 seed m−2 in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
Nomenclature: Ladysthumb, Polygonum persicaria var. persicaria L. POLPE; cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. ‘BXN 47’.