Vail weed of the week: Two common plants cause problems
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –Oxeye daisy and scentless chamomile are commonly seen plants and currently in bloom around Eagle County. The two plants, which grow and can be controlled in similar ways, are targeted by Eagle County’s municipal and county Noxious Weed Management Programs.
• Both plants have a daisy-like flower with white petals and a bright yellow center, emerging in mid-summer. Both plants grow to 10 to 24 inches in height.
• Oxeye daisy leaves are smooth and gently lobed while chamomile has soft fern-like leaves.
• As with many noxious weeds, these plants are escaped garden perennials that now invade open space and crowd out native plants.
• One scentless chamomile plant can produce up to one million seeds that are viable as soon as the flower is formed. Buried seeds can remain viable up to 15 years.
• Chamomile causes blistering in the muscles of wildlife, which means they can’t eat it. Do not confuse this chamomile for the kind used for making tea – the scentless kind will cause blistering in the mouth and throat.
• Controlling oxeye daisy and scentless chamomile is relatively easy. Smaller populations can be pulled from the ground before they produce seeds. Be sure to remove the entire root system and to bag the plants and send them to the landfill.
Larger infestations should be killed off with an approved herbicide. Please remember that when using herbicides always read and follow the label.
• Maintaining healthy native plants is the best way to block invasive plants. Chamomile quickly invades disturbed areas so proper revegetation is critical.
• Many people in Eagle County like the oxeye daisies in their gardens and natural areas, but don’t realize they are a noxious weed. If you want a daisy in your garden, good substitutes for the oxeye daisy are shasta daisies, blanket flowers or, better yet, native asters.
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.
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