Halogeton is both noxious and poisonous. It pushes out native weeds through removing salt from the soil which is then leached back from the roots into the soil. This both increases soil salinity and pushes out native weeds through the soil nutrient change. The salt is a soluble oxalate and accumulates in foliage as well. While it is bitter to taste and livestock avoid it if there is other plant material available, it can kill sheep and cattle.
|Halogeton was recognized in Nevada in the 1930’s, originally from Eurasia. It loves clay and saline type soils and a climate that receives less than a foot of yearly precipitation. It establishes a foothold in road sides, land that has been disturbed or in poor condition.
As with many invasive weeds, the root system is an impressive defense. It has both tap and lateral roots that spread deep and wide (20” deep, 18”wide) making manual eradication difficult. It also has a great offense: this weed produces two types of seed in a year. The seed produced prior to mid-August is can grow immediately within a year’s time. The other, produced after August, can lay dormant for up to 10 years. Both seeds are still viable after passing through a sheep’s or rabbit’s digestive tract.
|As with many invasive weeds, the best control is prevention. Keep the soil undisturbed (if is does become disturbed, plant reclamation species such as: crested, Siberian, tall and hybrid wheatgrasses; Russian wildrye, and native grasses among other plants). If you mechanically till an invaded area, it must be done for long term. Chemical treatment can help but also hurt native plants. Both control options will require reseeding to ensure the halogeton doesn’t return
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