Teasel in bloom
Staff from the City of Iowa City and the Iowa City School District are working together this week to eradicate a large infestation of teasel, an extremely invasive plant species that has taken root along areas of the Iowa River Trail. Originally imported from Europe for its decorative qualities, teasel is now considered a noxious weed by the State of Iowa because of its invasive nature. The plant has overtaken roadsides, riverbanks, ditches, fields, and pastures, choking out native plant species.

To eradicate the teasel, clear-cutting will be required on some sections of the trail between the City’s Forestry building at 2275 S. Gilbert Street and Highway 6, including an area near the school district’s bus facility at 2185 S. Gilbert Street. Due to the close proximity to the Iowa River, plans do not call for applying chemical herbicides. Eradication will require several years of diligent mowing to control the spread of the plants.

Common teasel may be identified by a six- to seven-foot tall stalk with purple flowers that are small and oval-shaped. Leaves have a wrinkled appearance, and plant stems are prickly. A similar problem plant, cutleaf teasel, features white flowers and flatter leaves. Each plant stalk can produce 2,000 seeds that stay viable for up to two years. To learn more about this invasive plant, visit www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/Forestry/ForestHealth/InvasivePlants.aspx

Questions about the Iowa City eradication project may be directed to Jann Ream in Neighborhood and Development Services Department at 319-356-5120 or jann-ream@iowa-city.org.

Date of publication

Wednesday, July 22, 2015