Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
This web site will help you identify & control noxious weed with information and photographs to aid you.

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Blue Mustard
Chorispora tenella                  
Mustard Family

Key identifying traits

  •  Leaves are waxy and have wavy or coarsely toothed margins

  • Flowers are a pale purple color and have 4 petals

  • Grows 6-18” tall and is somewhat spreading

  • Gives off a bad odor and if eaten by dairy animals can produce an off-flavor milk

  • Seed pods have a long “beak” and split across instead of lengthwise as is usual in the mustards

Biology and ecology

  • An annual plant spreading only by seed

  • One of the earliest spring flowering plants

  • This plant is a native of Russia and southwest Asia

  • Grows in waste areas and cultivated crops; often a problem in grain crops reducing yields

Control

Prevention – Learn to identify plants; start monitoring and plan for control early in the season

Biological – No known biological control in our area

Cultural – Plant competitive grass or other cover crop using certified weed free seed

Mechanical – Preventing seed production by cutting early or tilling soil before the plants flower will greatly reduce the amount of seeds in the soil

Chemical – Waxy leaves make it difficult for herbicides to penetrate, use of a surfactant is highly recommended, mustards are resistant to quite a few of the frequently used herbicides: the PNW Weed Management handbook has some limited information on controlling mustards.


Where found –
Scattered throughout Stevens County – but mostly seen in crop fields and abandoned fields.  Also seen in non crop areas; around out buildings, corrals, and holding pens.

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weedboard@co.stevens.wa.us
Last Edit: January 08, 2014
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