Vail weed of the week: Dalmatian toadflax
VAIL, Colorado –Often confused with the native golden banner (thermopsis divaricarpa), this escaped ornamental is quickly invading disturbed and natural areas throughout Colorado’s Vail Valley. This plant is targeted by Eagle County’s municipal and county Noxious Weed Management Programs.
• Also known as wild snapdragon and broad-leaved toadflax
• Perennial plant growing up to 3-feet tall with thick, sometimes woody stems
• Leaves are somewhat fleshy, clasp the stem and are blue-green in color
• Yellow snapdragon-shaped flowers blooming from June through August
• A mature plant can produce up to 500,000 seeds in a year that can remain viable for up to 10 years
• Reproduces from roots and stems as well as by winged seeds that are dispersed by wind
• Roots can grow up to 3 to 4 feet vertically and 6 to 12 feet laterally in the soil
• Poisonous to livestock and wildlife
• Aggressively out competes other native species for water
• Can be distinguished from Yellow Toadflax because of its larger ovate shaped leaves
• Because this plant is a perennial with an extensive root system, it can be very difficult to control.
• Smaller infestations may be pulled after a good rain, however, is very difficult to remove the entire root, so it will be a long term commitment.
• It is always good to keep this plant from blooming in order to cut down on seed production.
• For larger infestations and quick solutions, the use of a proper herbicide is recommended. Call Eagle County Weed and Pest or a licensed applicator for herbicide recommendations.
• Maintaining healthy native plant communities is the best way to prevent the establishment of noxious weeds. Dalmatian toadflax invades disturbed and bare areas so proper revegetation is critical to controlling this plant as well as other noxious weed species.
For more information on these plants and the weed management programs in Eagle County, visit http://www.eaglecounty.us/weed or http://www.vailgov.com/weeds. Or call the Eagle County Weed and Pest Department, 970-328-3540, the town of Vail Department of Public Works, 970- 479-2158, or the Eagle County Extension Office 970-328-8630.
The Eagle Valley Land Trust and Eagle River Watershed Council program adds 1% to purchases to fund preservation and conservation.