Follow the ongoing effort to protect South Carolina agriculture from Benghal dayflower, Commelina benghalensis.

Notice of General Public Interest

Notice is hereby given that, under Section 46-23-40 of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended, the Director of Regulatory and Public Service Programs (RPSP) at Clemson University is authorized and directed to carry out operations or measures necessary to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, or prevent the spread of noxious weeds new to or not heretofore widely prevalent or distributed within and throughout the State.  These measures include the declaration of quarantine in any county, or any portion thereof, when he deems that such quarantine is necessary to prevent the spread of any noxious weed.  Before such quarantine is established, the Director shall give due notice of a public hearing.  At such hearing, any interested party may appear and be heard, either in person or by attorney.

 The federally listed noxious weed Benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis) has been identified in Dorchester County, South Carolina.  The Director of Regulatory and Public Service Programs at Clemson University is declaring a quarantine be established in the following area:

  1. Dorchester County, South Carolina: The area of Dorchester County beginning at the northeastern intersection of latitude N 33.185 and the stream known as Cattle Creek (N 33.185000, -80.689845); then extending east to Interstate I-95 (33.185000, -80.610433); then extending south to the Edisto River and the Dorchester County/Colleton County line (33.090726, -80.649830); then extending west along the Edisto River to the intersection of the aforementioned Cattle Creek (33.140872, -80.694201); and then north from the Edisto River along the main tributary of Cattle Creek back to latitude N 33.185 (33.185000, -80.689845).

In accord with SC Code Section 46-23-40, a quarantine covering the aforementioned areas is hereby declared effective at 4:30 pm on Friday, January 15, 2016.  Questions regarding the quarantine can be mailed to Dr. Steve Cole, Director, Clemson Regulatory and Public Service Programs, Clemson University, 511 Westinghouse Rd. Pendleton, SC 29670.  Questions or comments may also be sent to the Director of Regulatory and Public Service Programs at via email scole3@clemson.edu.

New detections in Dorchester County

DORCHESTER — Benghal dayflower (tropical spiderwort, Commelina benghalensis) was recently detected in Dorchester County, SC by County Extension Agent Jonathan Croft, and confirmed by Dixie Damrel on September 25, 2015.  This is a first detection of Benghal dayflower (BDF) in Dorchester County and also a first detection in South Carolina in commercial agricultural fields. Several small infestations of BDF were detected in residential areas in Beaufort and Orangeburg Counties in September 2013 and the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry (DPI) has been monitoring and assisting the homeowners with containment and eradication. 

Benghal dayflower is designated as both a state and federal noxious weed. BDF is a significant problem in Round-up Ready crops, because it is tolerant to many herbicides, including glyphosate. The recent detections were made in both peanut and soybean fields with at least 500 acres confirmed to be infested. DPI is currently planning a delimiting survey of the surrounding area to determine the extent of the infestation. 

For more information on the identification and biology of Benghal dayflower, see our pest alert and brochures.

If you suspect that you have found Benghal dayflower, please contact Sherry Aultman, Interim State Plant Regulatory Official at 864-646-2128

DPI suspends survey until spring

CLEMSON — Due to the approaching winter weather, officials have suspended Benghal dayflower survey efforts until Spring 2014.  The noxious weed has become much more difficult to identify with recent cold snaps.  If you suspect you have found Benghal dayflower, please contact Clemson-DPI at invasives@clemson.edu or 864.646.2140.  Send images via email, if possible.  In the meantime, monitor the infestation and avoid entering or disturbing the area as much as possible.  Officials will keep a directory of contacts throughout the state and follow up in the spring once new growth begins to emerge.

Family finds noxious weed in backyard

BEAUFORT — Prior to surveying a Beaufort neighborhood, Clemson-DPI sent letters and flyers to homeowners alerting them of the potential threat Benghal dayflower presents and the upcoming survey.  One of these homeowners sent two of her children out into the backyard to look for the invasive weed.  To her surprise, they found it!  Clemson officials were alerted and quickly confirmed the children's suspicions, marking the yard as the second find of Commelina benghalensis in Beaufort County.  

Grayson (8) and Emma Claire (6) found and reported Benghal dayflower in their own backyard!

Plant inspectors to go door-to-door in Beaufort

CLEMSON — Clemson University plant industry officials on October 28 will begin conducting a house-to-house survey for a harmful weed in Beaufort. Searchers will be looking for Commelina benghalensis, or Benghal dayflower, a state- and federally-designated noxious weed that was recently detected for the first time in South Carolina. 

Clemson University Department of Plant Industry (DPI) personnel will conduct the Benghal dayflower survey from October 28 to November 1, 2013.  They will concentrate their search in the vicinity of Bay Street and Ribaut Road in Beaufort.  Personnel will be going door to door because the first detection of this weed was found in the yard of a Beaufort residence.  Letters explaining the survey and describing the target weed have been sent to homeowners in the survey area.  Surveyors will carry photo identification and credentials from the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry.

The purpose of the survey is to determine the extent that Benghal dayflower exists in the Beaufort area.  The weed poses a serious threat to crops such as corn, soybeans, and cotton.  The weed grows a dense stand that can smother other plants.  In addition, Benghal dayflower is a significant problem in Round-up Ready crops, because it is tolerant to many herbicides, including glyphosate.

Officials ask the public’s help in locating Benghal dayflower plants.  Please be aware that it is not always easy to identify Benghal dayflower because there are native dayflower species that look similar.  See our brochure for more information.

Benghal dayflower is a state- and federally-regulated noxious weed.