Dyer's woad was discovered in 1986 in Washington State, growing along railroad tracks in Kittitas County. In 1992, dyer's woad was eradicated from this site. The site is monitored continually, with no new plants found. Removing this plant from the State is a true success story in the fight against invasive species; this is one of the very few noxious weeds that have been eradicated from the State.
Dyer's woad is native to Russia, and was introduced as a crop in 18th-Century England for the extraction of a blue dye from its leaves. Dyers woad was introduced to Utah from Ireland in 1910, as a contaminant in alfalfa seed. The state of Utah has lost millions of dollars in crop damage and loss of wildlife habitat. Tens of thousands of acres in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming are infested with this perennial mustard.
Legal status in King County, Washington
Dyer's woad is listed as a Class A noxious weed because of its impacts and widespread distribution in many western States, including Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, California and Oregon. It is sometimes found in gardens, and as a Class A noxious weed in Washington State, eradication is required. Dyer's woad is on the Washington State quarantine list (144 KB Acrobat file), and it is illegal to buy, sell, transport or offer this plant for sale in the state.
Additional information on annual bugloss
What to do if you find this plant in King County, Washington
Please notify us if you see dyer's woad growing in King County. Our program staff can provide the property owner or appropriate public agency with site-specific advice on how best to remove it. We map all known locations of regulated noxious weeds such as dyer's woad in order to help us and others locate new infestations in time to control them.