Chondrilla juncea

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Chondrilla
Species: juncea
Scientific Name
Chondrilla juncea
L.
Common Names

rush skeletonweed, skeletonweed

Overview

Appearance
Chondrilla juncea is a perennial forb that can grow up to 4 ft. (1.2 m) tall.
Foliage
Coarse-looking, multiple stems appear leafless due to inconspicuous leaves and arise from a basal rosette of sharply lobed leaves. The lower 4-6 in. (10.2-15.2 cm) of stem is covered with coarse brown hairs. Both stem and leaves produce a milky sap when broken.
Flowers
Flowers are small and yellow and develop in the mid-summer to fall. Mature, healthy plants can produce 1,500 flower heads and up to 20,000 seeds. Flowers bloom from July to September.
Fruit
Fruit is oblong, tapered at both ends, pale to dark brown, and 0.11-0.15 in. (3-4 mm) long. Seed production continues from July into November.
Ecological Threat
Chondrilla juncea invades dry rangelands in the Western U. S., displaces native species, and reduces forage for livestock and wildlife. It is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and was accidentally introduced to the U. S. as a contaminant of fodder in 1914.

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