By Ethan Proud
Most in the northern half of the Archuleta County are familiar with yellow toadflax, but there is another toadflax on the Colorado Noxious Weed List. Both are escaped ornamentals.
Dalmatian toadflax boasts flowers similar to its yellow relative: yellow, snapdragon-esque flowers with a spur. The main difference between yellow and Dalmatian toadflax is in the leaves. Yellow toadflax leaves are narrow and give the plant a bottlebrush appearance, while Dalmatian toadflax leaves are spade-like and have a blueish-green hue. Dalmation toadflax should not be confused with native goldenbanner, whose flowers will have a banner and keel like other plants in the pea family.
Both plants are perennials with a creeping root system, making manual removal a poor control method. Chemical control, solarization or biological control agents are better options. Each plant can produce up to 500,000 seeds which can lay dormant in the soil for up to 10 years.
Scattered Dalmatian toadflax plants have been reported in Archuleta County, though there are no established populations. You can help keep it that way by reporting any sightings of this species to the Weed and Pest Department at (970) 264-6773.
Archuleta County Weed and Pest is your local resource for managing noxious weed populations and controlling other pests.