Archive for the ‘Weedy Wonder of the Week’ Category

Weedy Wonder of the Week: Yellow nutsedge (8.8.12)

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

-E. Taylor

Yellow nutsedge is a weed we run across occasionally. These samples come from a dry bean field in Millington. More information on yellow nutsedge is available on MSUweeds.com.

Yellow nutsedge seedlings

Yellow nutsedge seedlings

Yellow nutsedge seedhead

Yellow nutsedge seedhead

Yellow nutsedge roots (pre-nutlets)

Yellow nutsedge roots (pre-nutlets)

Sedges have edges (cross section of stem)

Sedges have edges (cross section of stem)

Weedy Wonder of the Week: Western salsify (6.21.12)

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

-E. Taylor

Western Salisify  CSS Farm 2008 003Western salsify June21 2012 AgFarm (5)Western salsify June21 2012 AgFarm (6)

The seed head of western salsify looks like a giant dandelion. On a windy day like today it makes you wonder just how far their pappus structures can travel.

Informative links:

Weedy Wonder of the Week: Popped pigweed (4.30.12)

Monday, April 30th, 2012

- E. TaylorAmare popcorn 1

When studying weeds we are often presented with new challenges, which keeps things interesting. A couple of weeks ago we received two feed samples (cotton seed covered with fiber) to examine. We were looking to see if we could find any weed seeds to determine if this is a possible way new weeds are entering Michigan (either before or after digestion).  Being that we never work with cotton, it became an exercise in creativity to figure out how we could get weed seeds out of the fiber. We tried mechanical separation with a  rub board, wet sieving, and burning. To see if burning would be an effective method we did a test with a cotton ball and some redroot pigweed seed. Pigweed seeds started flying out of the container we had them in and when we looked closely they resembled popped corn. Maybe there is a niche market for such a delicacy?   After ruling out burning, we finally had success using sulfuric acid to dissolve the fiber and did in fact find some weed seeds; though they were species we already have in Michigan.

Weedy Wonder of the Week (9.28.11)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

-E. Taylor

As the field season is winding down we are moving back into the greenhouses. These Weed Wonder of the Week photos come from undergraduate student David Reif who is studying the host specificity and control of the parasitic weed dodder (Cuscuta spp.). He is having much better luck getting the dodder to attach to his sugarbeets and weeds this fall, likely because we have a new seed source. David will be presenting his research findings this December at the North Central Weed Science Society meeting in Milwaukee, WI.

Dodder on velvetleaf

Dodder on velvetleaf

Dodder attachment sites

Dodder attachment sites

Weedy Wonder of the Week (9.22.11)

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

-E. Taylor

Proving that there’s a little weed scientist in each of us, this Weedy Wonder of the Week comes from Jim Heilig, a Ph.D. student studying dry bean breeding here at MSU. He found a chicory plant (Cichorium intybus) with white flowers, which is pretty rare, most chicory plants have blue flowers. Thanks for the picture Jim!

WhiteChicory Jim Heilig 2011