Refuge Weed Species

Houndstongue blooming in grassland habitat. Plant is about 3 feet tall. It has multiple stems. Each stem has a single row of reddish-purple flowers. Flowers become 1/3 inch nutlets.

Definition from state law (County Weed Control Act Title 7, Chapter 22, Part 21): "Noxious weeds" or "weeds" means any exotic plant species established or that may be introduced in the state that may render land unfit for agriculture, forestry, livestock, wildlife, or other beneficial uses or that may harm native plant communities and that is designated:
1a) as a statewide noxious weed by rule of the department; or
1b) as a district noxious weed by a board, following public notice of intent and a public hearing.
2) A weed designated by rule of the department as a statewide noxious weed must be considered noxious in every district of the state.

  • Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

    Wildlife-Houndstongue promo 150 x 118

    This is a biennial plant with an extensive taproot. It has 5-petaled reddish-purple flowers branching from a 1-4 foot tall plant. Pictured (left column) as 1st year rosette and 2nd year skeleton with seed. Priortized by the State as P2B, i.e. abundant and widespread in all counties.

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  • Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)

    Musk Thistle in flower

    This is a biennial plant growing in temperate areas of the world. Found in 40 states of the U.S. A single plant can produce on average 10-11,000 seeds which can stay viable for 15 years! Spreads by seed only. The flower is purple and ball-shaped. Not on the Montana Noxious Weed list, but degree of infestation on Refuge is high.

  • Kochia (Kochia scoporia)

    Kochia coming into flowering stage

    Kochia is another weed that is undesirable and problematic. It is an annual that thrives in drought years forming monocultures. Not considered noxious by Montana, this plant still has a high degree of infestation on the Refuge requiring management.