In this article, we’ll go over several different kinds of noxious or invasive weeds found in Tucson and the surrounding areas, describe why they are more harmful than helpful, and give you tips for how you can spot and remove them.
What is the reason some plants are classified as noxious?
Ipomoea purpurea, or morning glory, is classified as a noxious weed in Arizona.
Laws or ordinances related to goat head
Another downside of morning glories is their ability to poison anyone who gets too close. The poison can enter through your skin if the plant comes in contact with your hands, for example, during pruning or another yard activity. This is called “transdermal poisoning,” and the effects can range from migraine headaches to hallucinations to days-long dizziness…and, in extreme cases, death. Be sure you are familiar with how to avoid morning glory poisoning if you have this plant in your yard. Wear gloves and long sleeves if you plan on working on or near them, and be extra cautious if you have any cuts or scrapes on your hands and arms.
Verdolagas, as they are called among Latinx communities, goes by many names including purslane, wild portulaca, little hogweed, and others. This plant is very prolific during the monsoon season. It also can make an appearance in the spring if there are adequate spring rains. An introduced species from Europe, they have naturalized throughout the Southwest.
Amaranth is a big pollen producer which gives it an advantage in producing seeds but also can be very irritating to allergen suffers. Removing before it flowers eliminates pollen production.
Now this is an interesting plant that when it appears often has people wondering if they planted watermelon as the leaves are similar between the two very different species. Once it flowers it becomes even more confusing because it’s flower resemble tomatoes and other nightshade cousins. Buffalobur (Solanum rostratum) definitely falls within the undesired weed category. If the stinging spines weren’t bad enough it is extremely poisonous. According to NS/S Conservation Program Manager, Nicholas Garber, “Every part of the plant is poisonous and the stinging spines can cause long-lasting pain.. The plant accumulates so much nitrogen from the soil that the level of nitrates in the plant would be poisonous on their own even without all the poisonous alkaloids!”