Provincial Noxious. Perennial.
Mature rush skeletonweed is a mass of wiry stems with small yellow
flowers and barely visible narrow leaves, giving it a "skeleton-like"
appearance. Early growth is a rosette
of dandelion-like leaves that wither once the plant flowers. Rush skeletonweed
grows to 1.3 metres in height with a taproot
that can reach 2.5 metres. The stem produces a milky juice.
Infestations of rush skeletonweed can reduce livestock and wildlife
forage and the latex in the stems causes serious problems with harvest
In British Columbia, rush skeletonweed occupies rangelands, roadsides,
and disturbed habitats at mid-elevations in the dry grassland zone. Infestations
occur in the Vernon area, Crescent Valley, Kimberley, Windermere, and
Creston. It is a major concern in the Kootenay and Okanagan regions.
A single plant may produce as many as 20,000 parachute-like seeds which
are dispersed by wind, water, animals, and humans. Rush skeletonweed
also spreads through horizontal roots.