TX Organic Research Center



Florida Betony

(Stachys floridana)

Native to Florida and began appearing in other states in the 1940s and 50s. It has recently become a common and very aggressive weed in residential and commercial landscapes in South Carolina.

Stems are hairy, square and upright, and grow to between one and two feet tall. The leaves are opposite and connected to the stem by a 1- inch petiole. They are approximately 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, lance shaped, slightly toothed, and end with a blunt point. The leaf base is either blunt or heart-shaped.

The trumpet-shaped flowers are white to pink and may have purple spots. They grow in whorls of three to nine in the leaf axils, where the leaf joins the stem.

The underground tuber is the reason for the common name "rattlesnake weed". It is segmented and white and resembles the rattle of a rattlesnake. The tuber is typically inch wide and one to four inches long but can grow to eight inches or longer. Florida betony is also known as wild artichoke.

Florida betony will grow in full sun to part shade and tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions including wet or dry.

Also called "Rattlesnake Weed".

Smooth or hairy, upright perennial, from slender underground stems with large, segmented, white tubers resembling a "rattlesnakes's rattle."

Square stems with opposite, serrated leaves.

Leaves are longstalked, lance-shaped, usually with a nearly flat base.

White to pink two lipped (trumpet-shaped) flowers produced at top of plants.

During hot weather, top growth disappears but plant reproduces by seed or underground tubers.

Found in turf, roadsides, thickets, and shrub beds. 


Trumpet-shaped flowers.

White tubers resemble a
rattlesnake's rattle.

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