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rush skeletonweed plant
A native to Eurasia, rush skeletonweed currently infests several millions of acres of rangeland, cropland, rights of way and waste areas in eastern Washington (thus the efforts to keep it out of King County). Competing for water and nitrogen, it can severely reduce crop yield and forage for livestock and wildlife, and its wiry branches interfere with harvest.

Legal status in King County, Washington

Class B noxious weed. Property owners in King County are required to control this plant. For more information on noxious weed regulations and definitions, see Noxious weed lists and laws.

Biology and morphology

rush skeletonweed rosette
Rush skeletonweed is a perennial with many branched, wiry stems that range from 1 to 4 feet tall. The rosette leaves resemble common dandelion and are hairless with deep, irregular teeth that point back toward the leaf base; they wither by flowering time. The plant has milky juice; coarse, reddish downward-pointing hairs at the base of the single flowering stem; and small yellow flowers and plumed seeds that ride the wind. It thrives in well-drained sandy or gravelly soils and has invaded extensive areas of shallow silt loam soils in other areas as well. In addition to deep (8+ feet) taproots, it has lateral roots that produce daughter rosettes. Plants also grow from buds on root fragments cut by cultivation or other equipment.

Additional information on rush skeletonweed

What to do if you find this plant in King County, Washington

Please notify us if you see rush skeletonweed 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. Also, because rush skeletonweed is not established in King County, we have an opportunity to stop it from spreading if we act quickly. We map all known locations of regulated noxious weeds such as rush skeletonweed in order to help us and others locate new infestations in time to control them.

Report rush skeletonweed in King County, Washington

Locate rush skeletonweed in King County, Washington

Related information

Related agencies

Program offices are located at 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104. To contact staff, see the Noxious Weed Control Program Directory, send an email, or call 206-477-WEED (206-477-9333).