No need to grow noxious weeds
February 11, 2004
Another European transplant that has gotten into all kinds of places is butter-and-eggs. Pretty flower? Yes. Noxious weed? Yes.
Dame’s rocket is another attractive wildflower that also is a member of the noxious weed gang. Again, it is not invasive here, but it does reproduce. This means it is producing seed that can spread to lower areas where it is a pest.
A particularly nasty invader of wetlands is purple loosestrife. While the plant doesn’t seem to spread at this altitude, its seeds can be spread to lower elevations where it can completely choke out a body of water if left unchecked. Its growth is so dense that waterfowl generally don’t nest and forage in it. Neither is it a food source for the bulk of other wildlife. It’s very aggressive, and very pretty. Beautiful but deadly – a dangerous combination for the ecosystem.
I know of two growing in the valley – one in Avon and one in Vail, and they were planted by someone. They didn’t establish themselves. (I remember when each was planted.)
It may seem futile to rip out your oxeye daisies, but if you do, you won’t have to rip them out of the middle of your Columbines next year. (They seed freely.) You will also be reducing the population and be helping out a family of hungry wrens somewhere.
There is no need to grow weeds. You can use Shasta daisies instead of oxeyes. Use Liatris punctata (the low-water liatris) instead of dame’s rocket. Do your part to help our natural environment. Don’t grow noxious weeds; eliminate them.