Noxious Weed of the Month: hairy willow-herb


By Ethan Proud | PREVIEW Columnist

Hairy willow-herb is an A List species in the primrose family. It reproduces by both its root system and by seed production. Plants grow 3 to 6 feet tall and may be mistaken for our native fireweed. Hairy willow-herb has bright pink flowers that form white fluffy seedpods. The leaves attach directly to the stem and are lance-shaped with a toothed margin and the stem is covered in soft hairs.

Hairy willow-herb is found in aquatic and riparian zones and can crowd out cattails and other invasive plant species like purple loose strife. Purple loose strife is another A list plant species in Colorado that is very aggressive, which demonstrates just how invasive the hairy willow-herb can be.

This plant is common throughout the Front Range, but has not been reported in Archuleta County yet. Archuleta County is home, however, to three native species of willow-herb: panicled willow-herb, fringed willow-herb and Hornemann’s willow-herb. 

For help identifying any potential hairy willow-herb plants, please bring a specimen by the Weed and Pest Department office.

Upcoming events

 Aug. 3-6: Archuleta County Fair. Go to for more information. Volunteers are wanted.

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month by the CSU Extension office, generally on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month 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.