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Rush Skeletonweed


Chondrilla juncea - Asteraceae Family


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  • Flowers: Flowers are small and yellow and develop in the mid-summer to fall. Mature, healthy plants can produce 1,500 flower heads and up to 20,000 seeds.
  • Seeds:  Fruit is oblong, tapered at both ends, and pale to dark brown. Seed production continues from July into November.
  • Leaves: Coarse-looking, multiple stems appear leafless due to inconspicuous leaves and arise from a basal rosette of sharply lobed leaves. Both stem and leaves produce a milky sap when broken.
  • Flowering Time:  Flowers bloom from July to September.
  • Life cycle: Rush Skeletonweed is a rosette in the early spring that resembles a dandelion. The plant will bolt in a few days, growing 1 to 4 feet in height. It germinates in the fall and winters as a rosette.


  • Rush Skeletonweed commonly infests agricultural fields. Once there, it can reduce yield by up to 80%. 
  • It can clog and damage harvesting machinery, delaying harvests and costing farming operations profits.
  • Rush Skeletonweed has been known to pose a choking hazard to livestock in its adult stage.


Most effective control methods

  • Due to its prolific seed production, extensive root system, and regenerative capabilities, Rush Skeletonweed is nearly impossible to eradicate once it’s well established.
  • For very small infestations, hand pulling can control Rush Skeletonweed with consistent efforts over 6 to 10 years. Remove every single root, as root segments as small as 1 inch are able to produce a new plant.
  • Rush Skeletonweed can be effectively controlled only through a combination of chemical and biological control methods. Several biological control agents are currently available and, when combined with herbicides such as 2,4-D can provide effective long-term control of Rush Skeletonweed. 

Large Images


K. Mosbruger, Salt Lake County Weed Control Program

Rush skeletonweed: flower



Steve Dewey, Utah State University,

Rush skeletonweed: rosette



K. Mosbruger, Salt Lake County Weed Control Program

Rush skeletonweed: seeds



Utah State University ,

Rush skeletonweed



Steve Dewey, Utah State University,

Rush skeletonweed: flower and seed



Utah State University ,

Rush skeletonweed: root



K. Mosbruger, Salt Lake County Weed Control Program

Rush skeletonweed: infestation



Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis,

Rush skeletonweed: foliage


  • Rush Skeletonweed Fact Sheet

  • References

    DiTomaso, J.M., G.B. Kyser et al. (2013). Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States [PDF file]. Weed Research and Information Center, University of California. Retrieved from View PDF

    Duncan, C. (2017, June 05). Rush skeletonweed management: challenges and solutions. Retrieved from

    Invasive Species Compendium. (2018, July 15). Chondrilla juncea (rush skeletonweed). Retrieved from

    USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. (2009, August 12). Rush skeletonweed [PDF file]. Retrieved from View PDF

    USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station. Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea L.) in the northern Great Basin [PDF file]. Retrieved from View PDF

    Washington State University. (2012). Rush skeletonweed [PDF file]. Retrieved from View PDF