By Karen Laitala
Powell County Weed District 

New invasive grass invades Montana

 

Karen Laitala, Powell County Weed District

Ventenata can be easily identified in May – June based on its reddish-black nodes. Its unusually long ligule (1-8 mm) is another distinguishing characteristic. By late June - July the plant adopts a shiny appearance and an open panicle emerges. Once the plant senesces in July - August, the awns (1 – 2.5 mm in length) become twisted and bent, which is typical of members of the Aveneae tribe.

Noxious weeds have destructive impacts on Montana's landscape including displacing native plant species, increasing soil erosion and decreasing wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Rangeland, pastureland, cropland, forests and wildlands comprise 92 million acres, or 98 percent of the total land area, in Montana. Both new and continued infestations of these non-native species not only reduce the productivity of cropland and rangeland, but infestations of noxious weeds also negatively impact wildlife habitat, affecting the vitality and survival of native species due to increased c...



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