Florida beggarweed is native to the Western Hemisphere but is naturalized around the world. During the last century, the mechanization of agriculture has transitioned Florida beggarweed from an important forage component to a weed of significance in the coastal plain of the southeast United States. This herbaceous annual is naturalized and found in fields and disturbed areas throughout the southern United States. The characteristics that made Florida beggarweed a good forage crop also make it a formidable weed. This review describes the importance of Florida beggarweed as a weed in the southern United States and the taxonomy of this species and details the distribution throughout the world and within the United States. The ecology of Florida beggarweed and its interactions with crop plants, insects, nematodes, and plant pathogens also are summarized. Finally, management of Florida beggarweed in agricultural systems using cultural practices and herbicides is reviewed.
Nomenclature: Florida beggarweed, Desmodium tortuosum (Schwartz) DC. DEDTO.