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Pacific Northwest Research Station
Blue Mountains National Resources Institute

Forestry and Range Sciences Laboratory
1401 Gekeler Lane
La Grande, OR 97850

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BMNRI Home > Publications > Weeds > Rush Skeltonweed

Publications: Noxious Weeds

Explosion in Slow Motion: A talk by Jerry Asher about noxious weeds in the Blue Mountains

Click on a weed to learn about how to find it and kill it!

Common Crupina
Diffuse Knapweed
Russian Knapweed
Spotted Knapweed
Purple Loosestrife
Perennial Pepperweed
Tansy Ragwort
Medusahead Rye
Rush Skeletonweed
Yellow Starthistle
Canada Thistle
Musk Thistle
Scotch Thistle
Dalmatian Toadflax
Mediterranean Sage
St. Johnswort
Leafy Spurge
Dyers Woad

Wanted: DEAD!

Rush Skeletonweed

Alias: Gum-succory

  • Stems: Much branched, up to 4 feet in height. Lower 4 to 6 inches of stems are covered with coarse brown hairs.
  • Leaves: Basal leaves have a dandelion-like rosette that withers as the plant matures. Stem leaves inconspicuous, 4 inches long, narrow and entire. Surface of leaves exude a milky latex.
  • Flowers: Flowering heads scattered on branches, about 3/4-inch wide. Flower clustered in groups of 7 to 15, yellow, strap-shaped.
  • Seeds: Pale brown to nearly black, about 1/8-inch long with a beak of same length that terminates in numerous soft white bristles. Fruit body ribbed, smooth below with scaly projections above.

Rush skeletonweed is a perennial that grows from a stout taproot. It has a stiff and bare appearance. The extensive root system makes it difficult to control; any tillage spreads it farther. It spreads primarily by seed, although roots scattered during cultivation may also sprout.



  • Mechanical: Do Not Pull! Pulling stimulates growth.
  • Chemical: Tordon herbicide is effective, but it needs rainfall afterwards. Call your weed board for information.
  • Biological: Midges, mites, and galls, introduced bioagents, are well established and seem to be controlling it and moving with any spread. Sheep will eat it, and in severely infested sites, are effective.

Report all sightings to your local Weed Board

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station, Blue Mountains National Resources Institute
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:43 CST

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