Rush Skeleton Weed

 

Latin name:

Chondrilla juncea  

Native to:

 Southern Europe, Asia and Africa 

Regional Distribution:

Rush Skeletonweed is a provincially noxious weed and is a major concern in the Kootenay and Okanagan regions. It poses a serious threat to rangelands, gravel pits, drylands and land irrigated for cereal production. In the Columbia Shuswap, rush skeleton weed can be found in the Falkland area.

Description:

Rush Skeletonweed is an aggressive invasive plant that spreads rapidly through plant fragments, its extensive root system and parachute-like seeds which can be transported up to 20 miles. It produces small yellow flowers and can be identified by stiff reddish-brown hairs that cover the base of the stem. This plant has wiry, thin stems, which ooze a milky sap that contaminate and damage cultivation machinery. It also drastically reduces crops yields by out-competing forage crops for soil moisture and nitrogen.

Control:

Herbicides have been successful when multiple treatments are applied annually.  Mechanical removal is effective on small infestations but repeated weed pulls are required due to the extensive root system of Rush Skeletonweed.

For information on prevention and control methods please refer to Weeds BC page 140