Nipplewort (Lapsana communis L.)

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Table of Contents

  1. History
  2. Life Cycle
  3. Distinguishing Characteristics
  4. Control in Corn
  5. Control in Soybeans
  6. Control in Winter Wheat

History

A common weed in cereal crops throughout Europe, Nipplewort is becoming more prominent in Ontario, particularly in no-till fields. The name "Nipplewort" was contrived over 350 years ago by Englishman John Parkinson who had heard Cauerarius, a Nuremburg physician and botanist claim that in Prussia the plant was called Papillaris since it was effective at controlling ulcers on the nipples of woman's breast.

Life Cycle

Annual or winter annual reproducing only by seed. One plant can produce between 400 to 800 seeds. Seed will generally germinate in early spring or late autumn.

Distinguishing Characteristics

An early germinating species, Nipplewort will first appear as a seedling with almost round or "spoon-shaped" cotyledons and then as a rosette. The leaves of the rosette will have one large terminal lobe with variously shaped smaller lobes below. The plant will bolt up from the basal rosette and will appear quite erect. The stems and leaves of Nipplewort will contain a somewhat milky juice. The inflorescence has many branches with a number of flower heads which contain 8-15 yellow florets. Flowering will generally occur from July to September. Nipplewort is often confused with Sow-thistle or Prickly lettuce. However Nipplewort does not have the row of spines found on the leaf underside that is characteristic of Prickly Lettuce, nor are the leaf margins of Nipplewort toothed as is characteristic with the Sow-thistles. Lastly, Nipplewort seeds do not have the fluffy white hairs that accompany the seeds of Sow-thistle and Prickly lettuce.

Nipplewort Pictures

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Link to a larger photo of Nipplewort

Link to a larger photo of Nipplewort

Link to a larger photo of Nipplewort


Herbicide Control in Field Corn

Post Emergent Control

In general, control of this species is very difficult once past the rosette or early seedling stage. Very little research has looked at control of Nipplewort in Corn. Limited Ontario data in Corn would suggest that post-emergent applications of Atrazine, Banvel II, Distinct, Marksman and Pardner + Atrazine all provide fair to good control of Nipplewort (Table 1).

Table 1. Control of nipplewort in field corn using various post-emergent herbicides.
Active Ingredient Trade Name (application timing)
% Control
dicamba
BANVEL II (post - high rate)
99
dicamba/atrazine
MARKSMAN (post)
99
bromoxynil + atrazine
PARDNER or KORIL + atrazine (post)
96
diflufenzopyr/dicamba
DISTINCT (post)
96
atrazine
numerous products exists (post)
95
atrazine/2,4-D
SHOTGUN (post)
94
primisulfuron/dicamba
SUMMIT (post)
83
prosulfuron/dicamba
PEAKPLUS (post)
63
mesotrione
CALLISTO (post)
60

Source: Dr. Peter Sikkema, Ridgetown College, University of Guelph.

Number of Trials: Table 1 is based on a summary of 1 field trial.

Herbicide Rates: Rates used in this trial are listed in OMAFRA Publication 75 - Guide to Weed Control.

Weed Stage: Nipplewort had over 12 leaves and was about 30 cm in height at the time of application.

What has been your experience?

We want your feedback. Let us know what you have experienced with these or other products, as well as any other effective management strategies.


Herbicide Control in Soybeans

In general, control of this species is very difficult once past the rosette or early seedling stage. No formal research has been done in soybean, although anecdotal information has suggested AMITROL 240 and BROADSTRIKE DUAL MAGNUM can provide suppression.

What has been your experience?

We want your feedback. Let us know what you have experienced with these or other products, as well as any other effective management strategies.


Herbicide Control in Winter Wheat

Post Emergent Control

In general, control of this species is very difficult once past the rosette or early seedling stage. In one field trial conducted in 2003, none of the herbicides tested provided over 80% control of Nipplewort. TARGET or SWORD, ESTAPROP, DICHLORPROP D or TURBOPROP and LONTREL offer supression of Nipplwort (Table 1).

Table 1. Control of nipplewort in winter wheat using various post-emergent herbicides.
Active Ingredient Trade Name (application timing)
% Control
clopyralid
LONTREL
75
dicamba/MCPA/mecoprop
TARGET or SWORD
70
dichlorprop/2,4-D
DICHLORPROP D, ESTAPROP or TURBOPROP
69
thifensulfuron-methyl/tribenuron-methyl
REFINE EXTRA
60
bromoxynil
PARDNER or KORIL
60
dicamba
BANVEL II
35
bromoxynil/MCPA
BUCTRIL M, BADGE or MEXTROL
24
MCPA
MCPA AMINE
18
2,4-D
2,4-D AMINE
0

Source: Dr. François Tardif, University of Guelph.

Number of Trials: Table 1 is based on a summary of 1 field trial.

Herbicide Rates: Rates used in this trial are listed in OMAF Publication 75 - Guide to Weed Control.

Weed Stage: Nipplewort had over 9 leaves and was about 10 to 15 cm in height at the time of application.

What has been your experience?

We want your feedback. Let us know what you have experienced with these or other products, as well as any other effective management strategies.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Local: (519) 826-4047
Email: ag.info@omaf.gov.on.ca
Author: Mike Cowbrough - Weed Management (Field Crops) Program Lead/OMAF
Creation Date: 15 April 2005
Last Reviewed: 15 April 2005