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Grape hyacinth [Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill] control in a wheat-soybean rotation

  • Shawn C. Beam (a1), Mark J. VanGessel (a2), Kurt M. Vollmer (a3) and Michael L. Flessner (a4)


Grape hyacinth is a perennial bulbous species in the Liliaceae. It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant, but it can spread into agricultural fields and become weedy, potentially interfering with harvest and fall-planted crops. There has been limited research on controlling grape hyacinth in cropping systems. Fall and spring applied field-research studies were conducted to determine grape hyacinth control with herbicides labeled for use in wheat or winter fallow before planting soybean. Among fall-applied herbicides, paraquat resulted in the greatest initial grape hyacinth control (90% to 100%). Grape hyacinth control, 16 months after application (MAA), was variable, but the top-performing treatments were glyphosate and metsulfuron plus paraquat, resulting in 65% and 50% control, respectively. After spring applications, grape hyacinth control in November (7 MAA) was variable, but top-performing treatments were glyphosate and metsulfuron, which resulted in at least 26% control. Spring-applied paraquat, carfentrazone, metsulfuron, and sulfosulfuron resulted in 73%, 68%, 69%, and 60% reductions in grape hyacinth bulb counts, compared with the nontreated control 7 MAA, and were the top-performing treatments. Despite product-label prohibitions on rotation to soybeans, no soybean yield reductions were observed from any treatment in either study. Single applications of certain herbicides in the fall or spring can result in good control (>80%) of grape hyacinth initially, but long-term control is poor, and additional research is required.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Michael L. Flessner, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061. Email:


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