What is it?
Crupina are erect plants that grows to be 1-3 feet tall. They grow in a wide range of conditions. Dense stands of common crupina can out-compete native plants and decrease foliage for livestock. They are native to southern Europe.
Is it here yet?Yes, a single infestation of common crupina has been documented in the Lake Chelan area. A different variety has been found in Idaho, Oregon, and California.
Why should I care?
Common crupina can be highly competitive, dominating sites and reducing biodiversity. They also can increase the risk of soil erosion. Spines on a plant’s stems and leaves are not palatable to livestock, so when common crupina forms dense stands in grazing areas, they decrease the amount foliage for livestock and reduce the ability of the land to host livestock.
What should I do if I find one?
How can we stop it?Clean vehicles, equipment, personal gear, and animals that have traveled through known infested areas. Common crupina is on Washington’s Terrestrial Noxious Weed Seed and Plant Quarantine list, meaning it is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or distribute common crupina plants, plant parts, or seeds (Washington Administrative Code 16-752-610). Common crupina are listed as Class A Noxious Weeds in Washington, meaning their eradication is required, through efforts such as hand-pulling or hoeing. Importation and interstate transport of common crupina is further regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the federal Noxious Weed list (7 CFR 360).
What are its characteristics?
- Erect winter annuals growing 1-3 feet tall, which overwinter as a rosette.
- Cotyledons (the seed leaf of the embryo of a plant) are large, thick, shiny, and dark green, with a prominent mid-rib that may be purple to red.
- Alternate leaves are divided finely into lace-like leaflets. Leaves and stems are covered in short, stiff spines.
- The plant may have up to 40 lavender to purple flower heads, each about a .5-inch long.