CO-Horts

CO-Horts

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weed of the Moment: Purple (Mustard) Haze

Posted by: Tony Koski, CSU Turfgrass Specialist

You know you've seen it...that pretty little purple flower sprouting up all over roadsides and disturbed areas. This is purple (blue) mustard (Chorispora tenella) and it's an early flowering winter annual that some people think is a wildflower.
Yes, it's an attractive flower and the color is appealing in the early spring when not much else is blooming. But it can be invasive, depending on the situation. The fortunate thing is that by the time it flowers, it's nearly at the end of its lifecycle. To help prevent reseeding, remove the flowers via mowing.
What you need to think about is WHY it's growing there. It thrives in disturbed soils and can take pretty tough growing conditions where other plants falter. It's a common weed in fall lawn seedings. If it is in the lawn this spring, you should never see it again. The best control for weeds in the lawn is a thick, healthy, dense stand of turf. This weed doesn't stand a chance against healthy bluegrass (or fescue or buffalograss). If it's in garden beds, you have the option to pull it, hoe it or mulch it over.
For now, enjoy the purple...it won't be around much longer.

3 comments:

  1. We seem to be focused on cultivating our backyard garden by buying flower seeds from shops. However, the more beautiful flowers are the ones that we can find along roadsides – wild flowers and plants. The onset of spring will find us seeing more and more of these wild flowers and plants that are more attractive compared to the ones that we have in the garden.

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  2. It is a rather pretty plant for a week isn't it? I don't thin kwe see much of this weed in Amsterdam, but in sort of related news - there is actually a strain of marijuana seeds labeled purple haze. Just saying.

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