If you’ve ever done some gardening in your life before, you’ve most likely come across a weed or two. Or a lot of them. Weeds tend to make pests of themselves by stealing the nutrients from flowers, fruits, and other vegetation. If you put so much work into letting your garden bloom, you want your flowers front and center, not the weeds.
When you go a step further, you wind up on the spectrum of weeds called noxious weeds. These are special weeds that are invasive, meaning they are flourishing in an ecosystem that they are not native too. And, more importantly, they’re extremely harmful to the plants that are native, or could pose a health risk to residents and native animals.
The Department of Agriculture for the state of Nevada has identified an entire list of weeds that they consider noxious. If you find these in your home garden, you need to contact them immediately. We don’t have enough time to list them all in this one article. So we’ve picked a few for now and we might just have to come back to this important topic in another post soon!
- African Mustard – growing up to three feet tall, you’ll recognize the Brassica tournefortii by the general lack of leaves and a small four petaled yellow flower. The African Mustard has a surprisingly deep root system, but it somehow thrives in the desert climate. More importantly, it steals all the hydration from the native plants around it, which is a killer in a dry climate.
- Camelthorn – this is a tall, branching out bush weed that can grow up to four feet. Look for yellow spikes on the stem and pink and purple flowers on the leaves. Alhagi maurorum is great in the middle east for feeding camels, but here, in Nevada, it can be damaging to our native plants. It might have a pretty atmosphere to it, but it’s a serious threat to our gardens.
- Silverleaf Nightshade – solanum elaegnifolium can reach up to three feet tall and has star shaped purple or blue flowers. You may also notice tiny red or yellow spines that could give a slight nick on your finger if you held it. This weed is considered noxious in 21 different US states and in a few countries. That’s because it’s downright poisonous to livestock and animals, so keep this away from your dog or outdoor cat!
Now you know what to look for. So keep an eye out and if you see anything, notify the Nevada Department of Agriculture and follow their instructions for removal. Noxious weeds are a serious issue that needs to be handled swiftly. And my fellow gardeners are great soldiers in the fight against invasive weeds!
If you’ve enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter so your friends can keep an eye out for these noxious weeds as well. And if you have any comments or tips when dealing with invasive plants, comment below and share the knowledge. Until next time!