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A Word About Weeds

There are a number of aggressive weeds that have invaded the landscapes of Salt Lake County. Most are non-native plant species that were originally planted for ornamental or agricultural uses.

As these plants naturalize into local ecosystems, their seeds move up and down stream corridors carried by water, wind, and wildlife. With a lack of native controls (insects, disease, etc.), the most successful invasive weeds will ultimately displace native plants to become the dominant vegetation. This has serious impacts on ecosystem health by decreasing biodiversity and ultimately contributing to increased erosion potential.

Many invasives are listed as noxious weeds, a legal designation by federal, state, or county governments for plants that are considered injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property. Many of the worst invaders are listed as noxious, but not all.

Regardless of their classification, please don’t plant or maintain invasive plants. Get to know their identifying features and eradicate them from your landscape!

Learn more about weed identification and control methods from the Salt Lake County Weed Control Program.

Garlic Mustard

Salt Cedar


Invasive Plants to Avoid and Remove

Listed Noxious Weeds

Latin Name(s)
Common Name(s)
State of Utah Salt Lake County
Cardaria draba
Hoary cress, Whitetop
Carduus nutans
Musk thistle
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
Oxeye daisy
Cirsium arvense
Canada thistle
Conium maculatum
Poison Hemlock
Convolvulus spp.
Field bindweed
Cynoglossum officinale
Euphorbia esula
Leafy spurge
Hypericum perforatum
St. Johnswort
Isatis tinctoria
Dyer's woad
Lepidium latifolium
Perennial pepperweed, Tall whitetop
Linaria dalmatica
Dalmation toadflax
Linaria vulgaris
Yellow toadflax
Lythrum salicaria
Purple loosestrife
Onopordum acanthium
Scotch thistle
Potentilla recta
Sulfur cinquefoil
Tamarix ramosissima
Saltcedar, Tamarisk (Tree/Shrub)
Alliaria petiolata
Garlic mustard
Euphorbia myrsinites
Myrtle spurge

Photo Credits: "Saltcedar", Steve Dewey; "Bittersweet nightshade", Bruce A. Conti; "Garlic Mustard" and "Purple Loosestrife", King County Weed Control; "Phragmites" and "Hoary Cress", Wikimedia Commons