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White Top in full growth

The Adams County Record of Council, Idaho

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White Top, a troublesome noxious weed, is now in full growth around Idaho prompting; state noxious weed officials to call on Idahoans to take immediate action to eradicate the weed wherever possible.

White Top infesta-i tions are generally easy • to spot by the cluster of white flowers. The weed's stems can grow up to 3 feet high with blue-green, lance-shaped leaves and are topped by many clusters of dense, white flowers on stalks radiating from a stem giving the weed a flat-topped appearance. Two small, flat, reddish-brown seeds are contained in each of the heart-shaped seed pods.

The invasive White Top, also known as Hoary Cress, is one of 64 noxious weeds found in Idaho. It is a member of the mustard family that emerges in early spring. It thrives in areas where soil has been disturbed and once started can quickly choke out native vegetation.

"By mid-summer White Top has bloomed and its seeds are set. That's why it's important for Idahoans to attack this noxious now while it is in early stages of growth," according to Roger Batt, Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign coordinator.

Officials say the best methods to get rid of White Top are pulling the plant and its roots from the ground or by using select herbicides. Mechanical efforts such as rototilling or disking the weed generally leave pieces of the roots in the soil which can generate new growth the following year.

"Herbicides can be used effectively against Hoary Cress but its always important that folks read and follow the information on the herbicide label regarding safe handling and application," Batt said.

Officials also recommend that you go to the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign's Website at to learn more about White Top and other noxious weeds. The site also contains information about how to deal with and control noxious weeds.

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Original Publication Date: June 10, 2010

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