Naughty and Nice for 2020

We’ve been making a list,
And checking it twice,
Now its time to find out
Who has been naughty and nice!

It is a WeedWise tradition for each of our staff to select our annual “Naughty and Nice” plants for the year. Check out the latest from our staff in this fun holiday tradition!

Happy Holidays!

Sam’s Naughty and Nice List

Naughty: Lesser celendine (Ficaria verna)

Lesser celandine was on my “Naughty List” this year because of the massive amount of these little yellow flowers that I have seen spreading across our urban landscapes and spilling over into our parks and natural areas.  This plant is difficult to control.  Herbicides are generally required to prevent even modest infestations from spreading.  Lesser celendine completely suppresses all other spring forbs and grasses in areas where it occurs.  If you have lesser celendine growing on your property take action this spring to prevent it from spreading further.  Check out the urban IPM factsheet we created with our partners from the 4-County Cooperative Weed Management Area!

Nice: White rock larkspur (Delephinium leucophaeum)

White rock larkspur is one of my favorite spring wild flowers.  This rare plant prairie wildflower is endangered in Oregon, but can be found in several remnant prairies in our area.  The white coloration is a perfect contrast to the deep purple of the more commonly seen Menzies’ larkspur.  White rock larkspur is also a perfect indicator of remnant prairies in our region that have become exceedingly rare.  If you are lucky to find White rock larkspur, you will probably find a few other interesting prairie plants as well.  Learn more about white rock larkspur on the Oregon Conservation Strategy.

Lindsey’s Naughty and Nice List

Naughty: Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Tree-of Heaven can spread rapidly, creating millions of seeds every year. It also sends up lots of suckers that pop up in unwanted places, it outcompetes native plants, and it stinks!

Nice: Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)

Oregon White Oak is a very special tree to Oregon. It was once very common across the Willamette Valley landscape, but is much more rare now. Not only is it a beautiful tree, it provides excellent habitat to many creatures, including 47 documented bird species.

Courtney’s Naughty and Nice List

Naughty: Meadow hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum)

I chose meadow hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum) as my “naughty” candidate for its ability to invade open meadows, grasslands, forest edges, and disturbed habitats. This showy invasive plant may look like a beautiful wildflower, but it can form dense mats through seed and rhizome reproduction, displacing desirable native species. Not only is it an aggressive invader, but it is also one that the WeedWise Program has deemed as a high priority EDRR species for Clackamas County.

Nice: Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea)

For my “nice” candidate, I chose deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) because it thrives in mountainous fields and meadows and acts as a great food supplier for wildlife, pollinator source for native bees, and can also be used medicinally for coughs and colds. This stunning sunflower can be seen across the steep slopes of the Columbia River Gorge in late spring, bringing in many recreationalists to admire its gorgeous blossoms.

Justin’s Naughty and Nice List

Naughty:  Spurge Laurel (Daphne laureola)

You are playing with fire!  Spurge laurel sap causes burns. Winter is a great time to implement manual control since it stands out better after leaf drop. Be carful and wear proper PPE.

Nice: Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)

Native and cultivated varieties of rhododendrons provide year round foliage and spectacular flowers.  Take care to avoid this plant when exterminating Spurge laurel since they are similar in appearance in the absence of fruit or flowers.

BONUS Naughty and Nice!

Thanks to the COVID pandemic we were blessed to have two stay-at-home WeedWise “interns” this season.  So we asked them about the native and invasive plants that they would put on thier Naughty and Nice lists this year!


Matt’s Naughty and Nice List

Naughty:  English ivy (Hedera helix)

This plant is naughty because it is invasive and slowly kills plants!

Nice: Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium)

This plant is nice because it is not invasive and represents Oregon’s flower.

Benny’s Naughty and Nice List

Naughty: Hedgehog dogstail (Cynosurus echinatus)

Dogstail is bad because it is a killer!

Nice: Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

This plant is good because it is soft like toilet paper!  (We think this is a great tip for this year in particular!)


Thanks to all our contributors!  Have a very happy New Year!

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