Laboratory studies were conducted to examine the leaf surface, epicuticular wax content, and spray droplet behavior on common lambsquarters, common purslane, and velvetleaf. Adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy, and leaf wax was extracted and quantified for all three weed species. The spread of 1-μl droplets of distilled water, primisulfuron solution (without surfactant), primisulfuron solution with a nonionic low foam wetter/spreader adjuvant (0.25% v/v), and with an organosilicone wetting agent (0.1% v/v) was determined on the adaxial leaf surfaces of each of the weed species. Glands and trichomes were present on both the adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces of velvetleaf. Common purslane had neither glands nor trichomes on either side of the leaf. Common lambsquarters did not have any glands or trichomes, but it had globular bladder hairs on both adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces. Stomata were present on both adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces in all three weed species. Common purslane had a much lower number of stomata per unit area of leaf as compared with velvetleaf or common lambsquarters. Common lambsquarters had the highest epicuticular wax content on the leaf surface (274.5 μg cm−2), followed by common purslane (153.4 μg cm−2) and velvetleaf (7.4 μg cm−2). There were no significant variations in the spread of the 1-μl droplet of distilled water and primisulfuron (without adjuvant) among the species. Spread of primisulfuron droplets with surfactant was highest on the leaf surface of velvetleaf that had the lowest wax content. Droplet spread was greatest with organosilicone surfactant followed by the nonionic surfactant.
Nomenclature: Primisulfuron; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. CHEAL; common purslane, Portulaca oleracea L. POROL; velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti Medik, ABUTH.