Tucson’s 5 Least Wanted Weeds

Tucson is a great place to live, but owning a home in Tucson reveals a great unfairness. It’s hard as heck to grow the plants you want, but invasive weed species grow all by themselves. Some weeds just need a quick pulling or an application of your favorite name-brand weed killer, but a few are trouble of a higher order and require weed control.

These 5 least wanted weeds turn up everywhere in Tucson, and are tough enough to need a professional to control the infestation before they destroy what lawn you have left.

Least Wanted Weeds in Tucson

Puncturevine has pretty yellow flowers and lies low like a fern in dense mats up to six feet long. It’s toxic to eat and a danger to some pets, but its most obnoxious feature is its fruit. The fruit is a woody burr with spines sharp enough to puncture bicycle tires and poke all the way through shoe soles — which explains why “caltrop” and “Devil’s thorn” are common nicknames given to this weed.

Spurge grows low to the ground in a radiating set of green stalks. It’s neither poisonous nor prickly, but it consumes a lot of water for its size and can choke out neighboring plants surprisingly fast. Worse, it’s a prolific breeder even by the standards of weeds. A single plant can distribute tens of thousands of seeds each reproductive cycle, and has up to ten cycles per year.

Russian Thistle…sure, you came to the desert because you like tumbleweeds, of which Russian Thistle is a species. It’s a large, bushy plant with woody stalks that prefers the loose, sandy soils most common in Tucson. It can be poisonous to livestock and pets, and though the plant isn’t thorny it can be sharp. Between their size and quick reproduction, Russian Thistle can quickly dominate a yard or garden and choke out other plants in the area.

London Rocket
London Rocket is a fast-growing stalk with a pod of yellow flowers on the top that’s not bad to look at, and that some people consider tasty. However, that flower pod at the end of a three-foot stalk is a machine built to spread seeds far and wide. One London Rocket this season can mean dozens in your yard come spring.

Bermuda Grass looks harmless, but is better suited to the Tucson environment than most of the grass species you plant on purpose. Once it takes hold, it can move from a spot on your lawn, to most of your lawn, to your entire lawn over just a few seasons. All the beauty and comfort of the lawn you wanted vanishes, and you’re left with this unsightly weed.

If you recognize any of these 5 least wanted weeds hiding amongst your more desireable plants, call us today for an estimate to remove it. Done wrong attempting to control these weeds on your own is worse than useless. It can spread their seeds farther than nature would on its own, resulting in a worse infestation.

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