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Plants of the Western Slope September 9, 2015

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Photo by Evelyn Horn Kochia, Burning Bush, Mexican Fire-weed. Some plants turn red in autumn. Pronounced /ko shu/. Kochia scoparia for D. J. Kochia + broomlike. Annual, Asian introduction. In our area, it usually grows to 3-4 feet tall. Livestock graze on

2015 -- The Year of the Weed

Photo by Evelyn Horn Prickly Lettuce, China Lettuce, Wild Lettuce. Lactua serriola (Lactua from the milky juice + saw-like prickles on the leaves) Annual or biennial from a taproot. Branching occurs in the upper portions where the 1/8-inch yellow flowers become tiny puff balls. It’s in the dandelion group of sunflowers.
Photo by Evelyn Horn Russian Knapweed, Tumble Knapweed. There is one native species and three alien species. They hybridize. Flowers usually purplish. Now only the whitish calyx remains. They dominate miles of roadsides in our area. In the Sunflower Family.
Photo by Evelyn Horn Dodder. An orange/yellow parasitic, ground-level vine. There are several species but the 1/8-inch, cream-colored flowers make for difficult identification. It is totally parasitic, producing many long-lived seeds. This parasite may kill the host plant. Look for information under Cuscutaceae or Dodder.
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