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Invasive Plants Conference in Boise Includes Focus on Rush Skeletonweed

October 14, 2016

One of Idaho’s toughest weed invaders will be a focus for the The Northern Rockies Invasive Plants Council when it meets in Boise, Oct. 17-20.

An all-day session on Tuesday, Oct. 18, will draw together experts from across the Northwest and as far as Rome to report on efforts to control rush skeletonweed.

University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences weed scientist Tim Prather will report on a mapping program that can help predict where the wind will spread rush skeleton weed, which has dandelion-like seeds with parachutes or papposes.

Among the conference organizers is UI entomologist Mark Schwarzlaender, who specializes in finding insects to control invasive weeds. He is working with researchers in Russia studying a beetle that damages the stems of skeletonweed

The weed was first reported in 1938 near Spokane. Since then it has spread to California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, crowding out native plants and damaging livestock grazing and wildlife habitat.

The Northern Rockies Invasive Plants Council conference Monday to Thursday at the Boise Centre will cover many invasive plants, problems they cause, current research and control strategies. University of Idaho Extension is helping to sponsor the conference.

Conference organizers also include UI’s Marijka Haverhals, Montana State University weed scientist Jane Mangold and Nancy Pieropan of the Fremont County, Wyoming, Weed and Pest program. More information is online at

Media Contacts:
Mark Schwarzlaender
Professor of entomology
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Bill Loftus
Science writer
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

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