Noxious Weed of the Month: absinth wormwood

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Photo courtesy Ethan Proud
Absinth wormwood, a species of sage, is a noxious weed that wreaks havoc on native ecosystems.

By Ethan Proud | PREVIEW Columnist

Absinth: the green fairy or a terribly invasive sage species? In this case both. Not only is absinth responsible for creating a spirit that will knock you off your feet, but it is also wreaking havoc on our native ecosystems. 

Absinth wormwood, like all sage species, is a member of the sunflower family. Absinth is a perennial that reproduces both from its roots as well as by seed. Its flowers are hard to notice, small, drooping and yellow. The leaves are divided into lobed leaflets, which are an olive green in color. The main identifying species of all sage leaves is the W-shaped cleft at the leaf tip. Absinth wormwood reduces available forage and taints the milk of cattle.

Identifying this species may be a nightmare due to the sheer volume of native and non-noxious lookalikes, including: sand sage, fringed sage, green sage, tarragon and skeleton leaf bursage. This plant has yet to be introduced or reported in Archuleta County. If you suspect that one of your sage species is this invader, please notify the Archuleta County Weed and Pest Department or bring by a sample.

Archuleta County Weed and Pest is your local resource for managing noxious weed populations and controlling other pests.

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month (February, April, June, August, October and December) from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid, and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 264-5931 to register.

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