By Ethan Proud | PREVIEW Columnist
Breaking from the trend of showcasing Colorado Noxious Weed List A species that are not found in Archuleta County, this Noxious Weed of the Month is on List B and is found widespread locally. Oxeye daisy is an attractive white daisy which was introduced as an ornamental and has since escaped cultivation and wreaked havoc in subalpine meadows and irrigated agricultural systems.
This plant is a popular one for hikers and recreationists to pick. On a float down the San Juan River, I saw a trio of tourists wearing them as crowns. When picking invasive species, it is important to dispose of them properly to prevent any seed distribution. I wonder if those flower crowns were simply tossed on the ground or if they were brought home as a souvenir, only to be tossed in a yard or out the car window. Each flowerhead produces 200 seeds.
Oxeye daisy spreads through a creeping root system as well as by seed and reduces carrying capacity of meadows that would otherwise support deer and elk populations. Oxeye daisy can be identified from our native white asters or the ornamental Shasta daisy by its pleated, lobed petals (each petal has a line down the center) and the dimple in its center. Shasta daisy is also larger and more showy and forms a root ball instead.
Archuleta County Weed and Pest is your local resource for managing noxious weed populations and controlling other pests.