On June 7, a group of our volunteers raised $500 for our group when we gathered together outside of Plains, MT and pulled invasive weeds on a brisk Sunday afternoon.
Blueweed, an invasive noxious weed, germinates and grows into a ground rosette during its first year. During its second year it is capable of growing over 3 feet in height and several feet in diameter. Blueweed invades roadsides, riparian areas, pastures, hay fields and forested areas (found near Cougar Peak Lookout). Blueweed is unpalatable to grazing and is potentially poisonous due to toxic alkaloids it contains. Left untreated blueweed quickly increases in density displacing desirable vegetation resulting in economic loss to ranchers and farmers. The rough seed produced by Blueweed (up to 2800 per plant) can stick to clothing, animal fur and feathers leading to further spread.
The Pleiades Foundation, Citizens for a Weed Free Future (CFWW), Wildhorse Plains Backcountry Horsemen, and local ranchers have been working together to reduce the presences and spread of Blueweed in the Plains area.
First year Blueweed rosettes
Second year Blueweed can grow over 3 feet in height and several feet in diameter
Blueweed is capable of infesting moist riparian areas..
…as well as dry pasture lands. Blueweed rosettes invading pasture lands
Because Blueweed is tap rooted, rosettes can be “popped out” with a shovel and left to dry as an effective control measure
Year 3’s gridding and popping out Blueweed rosettes in this hayfield will pay $500 to a volunteer organization through the Pleiades Foundation and Citizens for a Weed Free Future.
A big thank you to our volunteers for helping us out with this project.