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Noxious Weeds

Invasive plants that are detrimental to our economy and environment have been placed on a special list in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 555) and are called noxious weeds. Noxious Weeds are non-native, invasive plants which, when introduced, quickly dominate the landscape. They proliferate to the point they crowd out other plants beneficial to wildlife and domestic animals. Wildlife and grazing animals do not often eat noxious weeds because of thorns, spines or chemical content. Infestations of noxious weeds are devastating. They destroy rangelands and crop production; some can even cause illness or death to grazing animals. Quick, effective control is a priority, but it is only possible when there is documentation of infestations. Please watch for these weeds and report any sightings immediately to the cooperative extension service, or state or federal land management agencies.

Perennial Pepperweed found along streams and rivers.
Perennial Pepperweed







Weed Control

The spread of noxious weeds can be controlled if a concerted effort is make among public land users, including recreationists, miners, ranchers and state and government agencies.

The most effective method of control is to prevent noxious weeds from growing and expanding their range of invasion. By recognizing invasive weeds, reporting infestations to appropriate agencies, and following up with treatment, we can prevent the spread of noxious weeds on Nevada's rangelands.

Gaining control of noxious weed infestations can be difficult. In most of the knapweeds and thistles, cutting the root off before seed formation will destroy the weed and prevent seeding. However, cutting off other noxious weeds, such as leafy spurge and perennial pepperweed, will not control them and they will spread rapidly through root sprouting.

Noxious weeds affect people and the land in many different ways.

  • Thorny, spiny plants make recreation areas inaccessible.
  • The presence of noxious weeds decreases land and real estate values.
  • The increasing need for control of weeds in crops raises food prices.
  • Noxious weeds increase fire intensity and frequency in range and forest lands.
  • Noxious weeds out compete native plants which decreases biodiversity and habitat.

Click on the links below to view descriptions and photographs of some Elko area noxious weeds.

Diffuse Knapweed

Hoary Cress

Leafy Spurge

Perennial Pepperweed

Rush Skeltonweed

Russian Knapweed

Spotted Knapweed

Squarrose Knapweed

Yellow Starthistle