Noxious Weeds

Toadflax is on Colorado’s Noxious Weed List “B”
Toadflax is on Colorado’s Noxious Weed List “B”

There are aliens among us. They didn’t come from outer space. Instead, they invaded our country from their native lands around the world. Some hitchhiked in bales of hay or on unsuspecting travelers. Others were brought here deliberately, perhaps for their beauty or stalwart endurance in the face of adversity.

Once here, they took advantage of our hospitality and spread far beyond their original destination. These invaders are plants: grasses, flowers, even trees that are taking over our country. It’s time we fight back.

When aggressive plants arrive in a new environment, they upset the delicate ecological balance that sustains birds and other wildlife. We call them “noxious weeds” because they tend to take over the landscape, are difficult to control, and out-compete more useful natives. They are frequently useless as wildlife forage or shelter, while replacing plants on which wild creatures depend.

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Dalmation Toadflax – Linaria

linaria-toadflax-santafetrailcsco-2008oct07-lah-001More charmingly known as Butter-and-Eggs, the common name “Toadflax” applies to several similar species. All sport cheerful yellow flowers resembling snapdragons, to which they are related. Two-foot tall clumps of smooth green stems are covered with narrow, pointy leaves two and a half inches long. The flowers appear whenever growing conditions permit.

Originally imported from Eurasia as ornamentals, the plants quickly escaped cultivation and are featured on many wildflower posters. Unfortunately, Toadflaxes are now officially listed as noxious weeds. As such, it is illegal to grow them or sell their seeds.

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