Rush Skeletonweed

Rush Skeletonweed (gum-succory) Asteraceae (= Compositae), the aster family

Rush SkeletonweedBACKGROUND: Rush Skeletonweed is a native of Eurasia. It generally prefers well-drained, light soils. The plant spreads primarily by seed, but roots scattered by cultivation can aid in spread.

DESCRIPTION: Rush Skeletonweed is a perennial whose branched stems may be 4 feet tall and superficially appear leafless. Basal leaves form a dandelion-like rosette that withers as the flower stem develops. Stem leaves are narrow and up to 4 inches long. The lowest 4 to 6 inches of the stem is covered with coarse, brown hairs. Stems and leaves both produce a milky latex. Yellow flower heads are 3/4 inch in diameter and are scattered among the branches from mid-summer to fall. The seed is ribbed and bears a soft, white plume.

Rush SkeletonweedDISTRIBUTION: Rush skeletonweed infests millions of acres in the Northwest and California, including these Idaho counties.

CONTROL: Biological control agents (a stem/leaf rust, a bud gall mite, and a stem/leaf gall midge) are available, occasionally providing good control of rush skeletonweed. Herbicides, if applied consistently each year, can control this weed after 3 to 5 years.

Rush Skeletonweed Distribution Map - Grey Area


© 1999 University of Idaho: Text and photographs for these pages from Idaho’s Noxious Weeds, by Robert H. Callihan and Timothy W. Miller (revised by Don W. Morishita and Larry W. Lass).

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