Pearlwort is a low growing plant that tends to grow upwards forming small mounds, particularly in nursery containers. It is commonly seen growing as a prostrate mat in containers and on gravel around containers.
Pearlwort flowers are very small (usually less than 1/4” across) and difficult to see close enough to distinguish flower parts. With slight magnification, flowers with four very small white petals, four larger green sepals and four stamens with white anthers, become visible. Flowers occur on short stalks that stick up above the foliage, usually less than 1 cm tall.
Favorable environment notes:
Pearlwort thrives in moist environments, such as propagation benches and flats, greenhouse floors, gravel container areas, landscape areas and any areas that receive consistent moisture.
Each flower of the pearlwort plant ultimately produces several tiny dark seeds. These seeds are spread by splashing from rain or drops of irrigation water. Pearlwort seed can spread up to 16 in from the mother plant. Pearlwort reseeds itself in nursery settings from year to year.
Small pearlwort seedlings already have root systems large enough to escape the effects of herbicides. Apply preemergence herbicides prior to pearlwort emergence, or thoroughly handweed pearlwort from containers prior to applying pre- herbicides. Because pearlwort thrives in over irrigated nursery areas, closely monitoring irrigation practices can be one of the best control measures.