Wanted: Invasive botanicals
Targets of Weed Week have exotic names like houndstoungue, dalmation toadflax and Medusa head.
Black henbane kills sheep and makes cows sick when they eat it.
Other unwelcome botanicals include golden pea, hoary cress, viper’s bugloss and dreaded Dyer’s woad.
"These plants would eventually take over the whole county if we didn’t try to control them," said Jack Marchant, director of the Summit County Weed Department.
Some of the 25 kinds of weeds identified as "noxious" in Summit County poison livestock and destroy wildlife habitat. Weed Week, June 14-21, aims to educate people about controlling the spread of these invasive plants.
The yellowish Dyer’s woad is the greatest concern in the Snyderville Basin and Park City, Marchant explained.
"Ninety percent of my calls out of the Snyderville area are for Dyer’s woad," he said.
Removing it from your garden can limit the spread of the weed, Marchant said.
"One plant can produce 50,000 seeds, and that is a lot," he said. "It takes over a large area and is a big problem."
Pioneers used Dyer’s woad seeds in dye when they turned black, Marchant said.
"It was very useful to them," he said.
Most noxious weeds, which are not native to Utah, came from Europe or Asia, said Marchant, who uses about eight different chemicals to battle weeds from the air and sky.
Without natural enemies the weeds destroy native grasses, which provide nourishment for livestock and wildlife.
"This time of year is the best time to spray," Marchant said Tuesday.
In Kamas, the fight continues against spotted and Russian knapweed.
Musk thistle is the biggest problem in the Coalville area, Marchant said, adding that 3,000 acres of the weed was destroyed last year in Summit County.
People can earn money Saturday pulling weeds at Pinebrook Master Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Myrtle spurge and garlic mustard pose serious threats to wildlife habitat, said Mindy Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Summit County Cooperative Weed Management Area.
Safe herbicides are sold by the county and the public can borrow weed sprayers for free by calling Summit County Public Works at 615-3970.
For a list and to see photos of noxious weeds in Summit County visit summitcounty.org/weeds.
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