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Pretty white flowers suddenly growing in your yard? They could be noxious weeds

The Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign is sending out a warning about a noxious weed commonly known as Whitetop.
Credit: Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign
The Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign is sending out a warning about a particularly difficult noxious weed called Hoary Cress, or "Whitetop."

BOISE, Idaho — Noxious weed experts are sending out a warning about a troublesome plant that is on the rise across our region.

Hoary Cress, also commonly known as Whitetop, may look like a nice ground cover with pretty white flowers, but experts with the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign say they they are actually a particularly bad invasive, noxious weed that will crowd out native plants.

“Whitetop is one of the first noxious weeds that we attack in the spring," IWAC coordinator Roger Batt said. "The plant has spreading roots that get into lawns, pastures, roadways, and garden areas. Because it develops very thick canopies and absorbs a lot of water and nutrients, it does a great job of choking out native vegetation."

Whitetop can grow up to two feet tall, and has an integrated root system that allows it to creep into unwanted places, making it particularly difficult to eradicate once it becomes established.

Batt said the most effective method of removing the weed is use certain herbicides.

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According to the campaign, noxious weeks have already infested 8 million acres of Idaho's lands and pose a serious threat to the state's economy, ecology and agriculture.

Despite spending tens of millions of dollars each year to combat the problem, thousands of acres of land are taken over every day by one or more noxious weeds, Batt said.

To learn how best to identify Idaho’s noxious weeds and get details about the best strategies to get rid of them, go to the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign’s website or follow the campaign's Facebook page

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