Rush Skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea)

Common names:

rush skeletonweed, naked weed, gum succory, hogbite, devil’s grass

Scientific Name:

Chondrilla juncea 

Description:

Rush skeletonweed is a perennial forb with many branched, wiry stems that range from 1-4 feet tall. They have few leaves when in bloom, and have coarse, red, downward-pointing hairs at the base of the flowering stem. In the spring, rosette leaves resemble common dandelion and are hairless with deep, irregular teeth that point back toward the leaf base. Leaves produce a milky white juice when torn. Rosettes generally wither by flowering time.  Small, yellow flower heads are a ½ inch in diameter and appear in early summer, growing in leaf axils and stem tips in singles or in clusters.  They have 7-15 yellow ray flowers and 2 rows of green flower bracts at the base of the flower head.  Seeds are 3mm long with a ribbed surface and white bristles on one end that aid in wind dispersal.

Life cycle:

Perennial

Height of mature plants

Up to 4 feet

Flower color:

Yellow to White

Bloom time:

April through May

Look-a-likes:

In the spring, rush skeletonweed rosette leaves resemble common dandelion and are hairless.  The flowers are also very similar to dandelion and dandelion-like plants.

Habitat:

Rush skeletonweed thrives in well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils and has invaded extensive areas of shallow silt loam soils.  It is found in pastures, rangeland, along roadsides, railways, and in open and disturbed areas.

Impacts:

Without control measures, this weed will produce a monoculture of interconnected plants. A single plant can become an entire colony.  Rangeland infestations displace native and beneficial forage grazed by livestock and wildlife.

Noxious Weed Listing:

Origin:

Europe and Asia

Links:

Oregon Noxious Weed Profile

Invasive.org profile

CABI Invasive Species Compendium 

Washington State Noxious Weed Control Beard

USDA Plants Database

Gallery:

 

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