Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-564cf476b6-wkm24 Total loading time: 0.168 Render date: 2021-06-20T19:55:49.973Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Plant Growth Regulators Applied in Winter Improve Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Seedhead Suppression on Golf Greens

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 September 2017

Shawn D. Askew
Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 675 Old Glade Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060
E-mail address:


Annual bluegrass seedhead suppression on golf greens by spring-applied plant growth regulators (PGR) has been erratic between years and locations. To effectively suppress annual bluegrass seedheads on greens, current information suggest ethephon must be applied before floral initiation. Rogue seedheads, however, can sometimes be found in late winter indicating that a variable proportion of annual bluegrass plants may induce floral initiation in winter. Studies were conducted in Blacksburg and Harrisonburg, VA at five separate sites between 2011 and 2012 to determine if winter applications of ethephon or mefluidide would improve annual bluegrass seedhead suppression when applied in advance of a spring, two-treatment program. A spring, two-treatment program of ethephon plus trinexapac-ethyl reduced annual bluegrass seedhead cover 22 to 55% depending on trial and less than similar mefluidide programs. Applying an early application of ethephon in January or February prior to the spring treatment program resulted in 5 to 7 times less seedhead cover at cover maxima than the spring treatment program alone. Ethephon did not injure creeping bentgrass and caused only slight and transient discoloration to annual bluegrass. Mefluidide injured both creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass and reduced annual bluegrass population density in late spring. Programs that consisted of an early ethephon application, a spring treatment of triademifon, and two spring treatments of ethephon plus trinexapac ethyl improved seedhead suppression and turf quality but slightly increased annual bluegrass injury. Methiozolin suppressed annual bluegrass seedheads primarily through severe injury to annual bluegrass, which led to a decline in turfgrass quality and NDVI but a substantial increase in creeping bentgrass cover. Applying PGRs in winter is a novel concept and may substantially improve ethephon consistency and performance for annual bluegrass seedhead suppression on greens.

Weed Management-Other Crops/Areas
© Weed Science Society of America, 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


Associate Editors for this paper: Patrick E. McCullough, University of Georgia.


Amagasa, T, Suge, H (1987) The mode of flower-inhibiting action of ethylene in Pharbitis nil . Plant Cell Physiol 28:11591161 Google Scholar
Askew, SD (2016) A new key to Poa annua seedhead suppression. Golfdom. Accessed March 20, 2017Google Scholar
Askew, SD, McNulty, BM (2014) Methiozolin and cumyluron for preemergence annual bluegrass (Poa annua) control on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) putting greens. Weed Technol 28:535542 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Askew, SD, Willis, JB, Ricker, DB, McCall, DS (2006) Using black sand and GDD50 to improve timing of annual bluegrass seedhead suppression. Page 106 in Proceedings of the 60th Northeastern Weed Science Society Annual Meeting. Providence, RI: Northeastern Weed Science SocietyGoogle Scholar
Askew, WB, Goatley, JM Jr, Askew, SD, Hensler, KL, McKissack, DR (2013) A comparison of turfgrasses for cemeteries and other low-input areas. Int Turf Soc Res J 12:245250 Google Scholar
Beard, B, Rieke, PE, Turgeon, AJ, Vargas, JM Jr (1978) Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua L.): Description, Adaptation, Culture and Control. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Agriculture Experiment Station Research Report. 352 pGoogle Scholar
Bigelow, CA, Hardebeck, GA (2006). 2006 Annual Report Purdue University Turfgrass Science Program. Publication B-18082. last. Accessed March 16, 2017Google Scholar
Brosnan, JT, Henry, GM, Breeden, GK, Cooper, T, Serensits, TJ (2013) Methiozolin efficacy for annual bluegrass (Poa annua) control on sand-and soil-based creeping bentgrass putting greens. Weed Technol 27:310316 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buchenauer, H, Röhner, E (1981) Effect of triadimefon and triadimenol on growth of various plant species as well as on gibberellin content and sterol metabolism in shoots of barley seedlings. Pest Biochem Physiol 15:5870 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buettner, MR, Ensign, RD, Boe, AA (1976) Plant growth regulator effects on flowering of Poa pratensis L. under field conditions. Agron J 68:410413 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Campbell, CL, Madden, LV (1990) Introduction to Plant Disease Epidemiology. New York: John Wiley & Sons Google Scholar
Colasanti, J, Coneva, V (2009) Mechanisms of floral induction in grasses: something borrowed, something new. Plant Physiol 149:5662 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cooper, RJ, Henderlong, PR, Street, JR, Karnok, KJ (1987) Root growth, seedhead production, and quality of annual bluegrass as affected by mefluidide and a wetting agent. Agron J 79:929934 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cooper, RJ, Karnok, KJ, Henderlong, PR, Street, JR (1988) Response of annual bluegrass to mefluidide under golf course conditions. Applied Agric Res 3:220225 Google Scholar
Corbesier, L, Vincent, C, Jang, SH, Fornara, F, Fan, QZ, Searle, I, Giakountis, A, Farrona, S, Gissot, L, Turnbull, C, Coupland, G (2007) FT protein movement contributes to long-distance signaling in floral induction of Arabidopsis. Science 316:10301033 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cox, MC, Rana, SS, Brewer, JR, Askew, SD (2017) Goosegrass and bermudagrass response to rates and tank mixtures of topramezone and triclopyr. Crop Sci 57:112 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Danneberger, TK, Branham, BE, Vargas, JM Jr (1987) Mefluidide applications for annual bluegrass seedhead suppression based on degree-day accumulation. Agron J 79:6971 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dernoeden, PH, Pigati, RL (2009) Scalping and creeping bentgrass quality as influenced by ethephon and trinexapac-ethyl. Appl Turfgrass Sci 6(1) doi: 10.1094/ATS-2009-0601-01-RS CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eggens, JL, Wright, CPM, Murr, DP, Carey, K (1989) The effect of ethephon on annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass growth. Can J Plant Sci 69:13531357 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frans, RE, Talbert, R, Marx, D, Crowley, H (1986) Experimental design and techniques for measuring and analyzing plant responses to weed control practices. Pages 3738 in Camper ND ed, Research Methods in Weed Science 3rd edn, Champaign, IL: Southern Weed Science Society Google Scholar
Haguewood, JB, Song, E, Smeda, RJ, Moss, JQ, Xiong, X (2013) Suppression of annual bluegrass seedheads with mefluidide, ethephon, and ethephon plus trinexapac-ethyl on creeping bentgrass greens. Agron J 105:18321838 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holm, LG, Doll, J, Holm, E, Pancho, J, Herberger, J, eds (1997) World Weeds: Natural Histories and Distribution. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Pp 585595 Google Scholar
Inguagiato, JC, Murphy, JA, Clark, BB (2010) Anthracnose development on annual bluegrass affected by seedhead and vegetative growth regulators. Appl Turf Sci, 7. doi: 10.1094/ATS-2010-0923-01-RS Google Scholar
Johnson, PG, White, DB (1997) Vernalization requirements among selected genotypes of annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.). Crop Sci 37:15381542 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koo, SJ, Hwang, K, Jeon, M, Kim, S, Lim, J, Lee, D, Cho, N (2014) Methiozolin [5‐(2, 6‐difluorobenzyl) oxymethyl‐5‐methyl‐3, 3 (3‐methylthiophen‐2‐yl)‐1, 2‐isoxazoline], a new annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) herbicide for turfgrasses. Pest Manag Sci 70:156162 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
La Mantia, JM, Huff, DR (2011) Instability of the greens-type phenotype in Poa annua L. Crop Sci 51:17841792 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lush, WM (1989) Adaptation and differentiation of golf course populations of annual bluegrass (Poa annua). Weed Sci 37:5459 Google Scholar
Lycan, DW, Hart, SE (2006) Seasonal effects on annual bluegrass (Poa annua) control in creeping bentgrass with bispyribac-sodium. Weed Technol 20:722727 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCullough, PE, Liu, H, McCarty, LB (2005a) Responses of creeping bentgrass to nitrogen and ethephon. HortScience 40:836838 Google Scholar
McCullough, PE, Liu, H, McCarty, LB (2005b) Ethephon and gibberellic acid inhibitors influence creeping bentgrass putting green quality and ball roll distances. HortScience 40:19021903 Google Scholar
McCullough, PE, Sidhu, SS (2015) Ethephon absorption and transport associated with annual bluegrass inflorescence suppression. Crop Sci 54:845850 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McIntosh, MS (1983) Analysis of combined experiments. Agron J 75:153155 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ong, CK, Marshall, C (1975) Assimilate distribution in Poa annua L. Ann Bot Lond 39:413421 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pukelsheim, F (1994) The three sigma rule. Am Stat 48:8891 Google Scholar
Rana, SS, Askew, SD (2016) Response of 110 Kentucky bluegrass varieties and winter annual weeds to methiozolin. Weed Technol 30:965978 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rana, SS, Askew, SD, Brewer, JR (2016). Sources of error that interfere with measuring annual bluegrass influence on ball roll trajectory. Page 193 in Proceedings of the 69th Southern Weed Science Society. San Juan, PR: Southern Weed Science SocietyGoogle Scholar
Ryan, CP, Dernoeden, PH, Grybauskas, AP (2012) Seasonal development of dollar spot epidemics in six creeping bentgrass cultivars in Maryland. HortScience 47:422426 Google Scholar
Vargas, JM Jr, Turgeon, AJ eds (2004) Poa annua: Physiology, Culture, and Control of Annual Bluegrass. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Google Scholar
Watschke, TL, Long, FW, Duich, JM (1979) Control of poa annua by suppression of seedheads with growth regulators. Weed Sci 27:224231 Google Scholar
Webster, TM (2012). Weed survey - southern states, grass crops subsection. Pages 267–288 in Proceedings of the 65th Southern Weed Science Society. Charleston, SC: Southern Weed Science SocietyGoogle Scholar
Wilmowicz, E, Kęsy, J, Kopcewicz, J (2008) Ethylene and ABA interactions in the regulation of flower induction in Pharbitis nil . J Plant Physiol 165:19171928 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zhang, W, Wen, C (2010) Preparation of ethylene gas and comparison of ethylene responses induced by ethylene, ACC, and ethephon. Plant Physiol Biochem 48:4553 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Plant Growth Regulators Applied in Winter Improve Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Seedhead Suppression on Golf Greens
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Plant Growth Regulators Applied in Winter Improve Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Seedhead Suppression on Golf Greens
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Plant Growth Regulators Applied in Winter Improve Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) Seedhead Suppression on Golf Greens
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *