Troublesome Weeds of New Mexico
By: Jamshid Ashigh, James Wanstall and Frank Sholedice
Invasive weeds pose a serious and increasing threat to New Mexico's environment and economy. These weeds are tough competitors and can spread rapidly, creating large stands that can persist for many years in the environment and cause many negative impacts to our ecosystems. While these impacts are species-specific, weeds have been documented to cause the following: displacement of native plants and animals, increased fire danger, increased soil erosion, increased flood severity, increased soil salinity, and decreased water quality. In agricultural and rangeland settings, these weeds can cause severe economic impacts by decreasing crop yields and lowering available forage for range animals, resulting in a decrease in livestock health.
This booklet focuses on helping land managers, farmers, homeowners, recreationists, and others identify troublesome weeds found in New Mexico because early detection is critical to effective weed management. Forty-five plant species are included in this booklet with brief descriptions, photographs, information on what areas they invade, where they are currently located in New Mexico, and some general information on management. We urge readers to consult other resources and local experts to help in determining the most appropriate management methods for their areas. Early detection and rapid response to new infestations can save many dollars and help maintain the health, diversity, and functionality of our ecosystems.