Western Goat’s Beard

Western Goat’s Beard

Weed Warrior Frank’s Invasive Weed of the Week

Western Goat’s Beard is another import from Europe that is working its way up the weed scale

Western Goat’s Beard, aka Western Salsify, is another import from Europe that is working its way up the weed scale in B.C.

At present, Goat’s Bread is listed as an Invasive Plant of Concern, locally.

You can choose to wait for the provincial government to declare Goat’s Beard a Noxious Weed, or start getting rid of it in your neighbourhood now.

Goat’s Beard has a tap root like a carrot, so it can be removed from moist soil or roadside gravel in 10 seconds, using a screw driver to loosen the ground surrounding the root.

Remember to use protective gloves when touching weeds.

I am sensitive to latex, so prefer the vinyl dishwashing gloves available at the store. Garbage bag all weeds for the dump.

Goat’s Beard was brought from Europe as a medicinal vegetable, around the year 1900. Since then, it has spread to 45 states and 9 provinces.

Goat’s Beard has been listed as noxious in Ontario, and a problematic rangeland weed in Montana. It invades roadside gravels and nearby bare ground and pastures.

With its thin green leaves and stems, Goat’s Beard blends in with grass until the yellow flower opens or the baseball-sized seed puffball opens like a giant dandelion head.

The flowers open for pollination at dawn and close at noon after tracking the sun’s path. The flowers stay closed on cloudy days.

Deer will browse on some Goat’s Beard flowers, its roots are edible, but the leaves, and milky sap containing stem, are too bitter for most livestock.

Weed Warrior Frank