Star of Bethlehem (Any Hope)!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by J Hisch, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    Anyone used anything at all with some success on Star of Bethlehem. Hand digging seems to be the only solution.
     
  2. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    What Star of Bethlehem are you referring to? Hippobroma longiflora, Ornithogalum pyramidale, Ornithogalum umbellatum, Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, or Gagea lutea?? The problem with common names is they change from region to region whereas botanical names are sacrasanct and cannot be assigned to more than one species or cultivar.-Garth
     
  3. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    After reading through several sources I believe that you are probably dealing with O. umbellatum. Since it is a bulb it should be able to kill it by several applications of a non-selective contact herbicide like 2,4 D. If it is centralized in a small area I have seen some promising information on using a combination of salt and full strenghth vinegar that is said to be effective. Good luck-Garth
     
  4. cemars

    cemars LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    First off, since when is 2,4-D a "non selective". Second, most people on this site are looking for real world experience, not promising information. Star of Bethlehem is a fairly common problem on the northern east coast and I can tell you it laughs at 2,4-D. A true non-selective like Round-up will do much better, but turflon ester also hurts it bad and is a good selective bet.
     
  5. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Technically, 2,4D is non-selective. The amount of leaf surface dictates how effective the chemical is. Secondly, I deal with botanical names,not common names so I'm inclined to "guess" what plant is being discussed. "Star of Bethlehem" is obviously a problem back east but not here in the deserts of California. And finally, if you are doubting my "real-world experience" I'll have you know I have a Master's in Horticulture and Botany from U.C Davis, 25 years in the green industry most of that in breeding hybrid varieties for nurserys, a Qualified Applicators license, certification in the Irrigation Association and a member of more plant societies that you can count on both hands. I was simply offering information that may have been pertinent to a situation. Based on this cemars, you need to stop being so condesending. Notice that I refrained from using any copraphemic venaculars.
     
  6. cemars

    cemars LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Sorry Garth, I wasn't trying to be condescending but I guess it did sound that way. I still don't understand your statement about 2,4D being non-selective. The manufactures of all 2,4d products we use refer to them as being selective. Could you expound?
     
  7. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    A systemic herbicide, 2,4-D is easily absorbed by foliage and translocated throughout the treated plant, which dies in 7-14 days. Phenoxy acid herbicides like 2,4-D mimic the action of natural plant growth regulators known as auxins, causing treated plants to literally grow themselves to death. In soil, 2,4-D residues usually dissipate within a month, primarily due to microbial degradation). 2,4-D is known to leach from soils low in clay or organic content and in cool, dry, nutrient-poor soils. Under these conditions, residues may persists for several months. Concentration levels vary for desired effect but are dependent on leaf surface, i.e. the broader the leaf, the more toxin absorbed. Because of this, grass having very little leaf surface shows little to no effect and dandelion, having a broad horizontal leaf structure dies. If, however, the grass is saturated with 2,4D it will absorb enough to have a toxic reaction. I've used gibberelic acid in the past for germinating rare cycad seeds. GA3 elongates cells in the plant but using too much causes the cells to explode.-Garth
     
  8. cemars

    cemars LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    So essentially what you are saying is that 2,4D, a non-selective herbicide by your definition, should be used to selectively control "Star of Bethlehem"? This may be confusing to some. By this same definition, aren't all herbicides non-selective? The problem with this definition is that it is contrary to the label and the label is the law. When used as labeled, 2,4D acts selectively. Granted if you over-apply it or just about any other herbicide, it will act like a selective and kill all vegetation.
     
  9. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    It should not be used as such. I assume that the Star of Bethlehem (if I got the right one as there are several plants with that common name) is grown from a central bulb or perhaps a tuber. By repeated applications, a level of active ingredient should build to toxic levels. The cell walls rupture and the plant dies from the inside out. If the amount of active ingredient exceeds label recommendations then it is illegal to apply any herbicide or pesticide that is federally regulated. There are study being conducted right now to find if 2,4D is a key element in the formation of lymphatic cancer. Roundup, being a recognized non-selective may be safer but not as effective unless mixed with Scythe ( a truly destructive combination where results are seen in minutes, literally). This, however, is expensive and may not be cost-effective for a large area. Here in California, QuikPro is about $125 for the 6.8lb container and Scythe about $100/ gallon. I can get alot of 2,4D for $225. The University of Florida had published a report from the Cooperative Extention that said undiluted vinegar was "very effective in the eradication of hard-to-kill perennials. As it failed to specify which type, it would be a reason to try as it could be very cost effective.
     
  10. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    After reading what I tried to explain I realized I got off the point I was trying to make. Several applications of 2,4D mixed with a high nitrogen fertilizer will get absorbed at a better rate than Round-up. I recommend cheap 21-0-0 ammonium nitrate mixed with water then added to the 2,4D. The plant, probably never having been fed will suck this stuff up like a python in a bunny cage. Levels increase in the roots, traveling systemically to other parts of the plant and, colloquially speaking, the plant goes nipples up.
     

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