Weeds Committee

The purpose of the Weeds Committee is to maintain the natural beauty and value of the Blackhawk Ranch and to fulfill the intent of the Colorado Noxious Weed Act. 

Jennifer Kordick, Chair 
jskord@yahoo.com

The management of noxious weeds on the Blackhawk Ranch is the responsibility of individual property owners and is enforced by the Colorado Noxious Weed Act.  Each property owner is responsible for the inspection and control of noxious weeds on their property.  Since noxious weeds are opportunistic, and sprout more often where the soil has been disturbed, the Board has assumed that responsibility for the road setback (20 feet from the center of the road, on each side of the road), and has assigned this task to the Weed Committee.  This does not, however, relieve the property owner of weed management responsibilities for their property.  The Weed Committee will make a courtesy report to property owners of any noxious weeds observed beyond the road easement.

Twice per calendar year (Spring and Fall), the weeds committee surveys the ranch roads of noxious weeds and sprays using a herbicide to manage growth. Property owners may rent a POA owner backpack sprayer to help control weeds on their own property.

Colorado Species

  • List A Species in Colorado that are designated by the Commissioner for eradication.

  • List B Species are species for which the Commissioner, in consultation with the state noxious weed advisory committee, local governments, and other interested parties, develops and implements state noxious weed management plans designed to stop the continued spread of these species.

  • List C Species are species for which the Commissioner, in consultation with the state noxious weed advisory committee, local governments, and other interested parties, will develop and implement state noxious weed management plans designed to support the efforts of local governing bodies to facilitate more effective integrated weed management on private and public lands. The goal of such plans will not be to stop the continued spread of these species but to provide additional education, research, and biological control resources to jurisdictions that choose to require management of List C species.

Weeds Common to Blackhawk Ranch

Canada Thistle

“List B” species. Designated for control and eradication by Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.

Canada Thistle is a creeping perennial which reproduces by seeds and fleshy, horizontal roots.  It stands 1 to 5 feet tall and branched at the top.  The leaves are close set on the stem.  The leaf is generally dark green, but varies widely from oblong to lance-shaped.  Sharp spines are numerous on the outer edges of the leaves and on the branches and main stem of the plant.  The flowers are small and compact; about 3/4-inch or less in diameter, and light pink to rose-purple in color.  The seeds are oblong, flattened, dark brown, and approximately 1/8-inch long. Canada thistle emerges in April or May in most parts of Colorado from 4,000 to 9,500 feet. 

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Common Mullein

“List C” species. 

Common Mullein is a biennial that produces a large, thick rosette of fuzzy leaves the first year and a single, stout, erect stem, 2 to 6 feet tall, the second year.  The leaves are alternate, overlapping one another, light green, and densely woolly.  Flowers are arranged in long terminal spikes and are sulfur yellow.  Flowering and seed production occurs from June to August.

 

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Houndstongue

“List B” species. Designated for control and eradication by Huerfano and Las Animas Counties. 

Houndstongue is a short-lived perennial or biennial forb. It produces rosettes in the first year and bolts a stout, erect stem, that is 1 to 4 feet tall by mid-summer of the second year. Then it flowers and produces fruit. Flowers are reddish-purple (occasionally white) and droop slightly from densely clustered panicles. The five rounded petals are cupped by five sepals covered with long, soft white hairs. Flowering occurs from May to July. The simple leaves are lance or oblong shaped, with a smooth edge and no teeth or lobes. Leaves are alternate, 1 to 12 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide. The leaf tip is sharply pointed, like a hound’s tongue, yet are covered with long-soft white hairs. Leaves often appear dusty and insect-ridden. A thick, dark, woody taproot can reach 3 to 4 feet deep

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Musk Thistle

“List B” species. Designated for control and eradication by Huerfano and Las Animas Counties. Musk Thistle is a biennial and reproduces by seeds.  The first year’s growth is a large, compact rosette from a large, fleshy, corky taproot.  The second year stem is erect, spiny, 2 to 6 feet tall and branched at the top.  The leaves are alternate, deeply cut or lobed with five points per lobe, very spiny, 3 to 6 inches long and extend (clasp) down the stem.  The waxy leaves are dark green with a light green midrib and mostly white margins.  The large and showy flowers are terminal, flat, nodding, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches broad, purple, rarely white, and surrounded by numerous, lance-shaped, spine-tipped bracts.  Blooms appear in late May and June and set seed in June or July.  Seeds are straw-colored and oblong.

Russian Knapweed

“List B” species. Designated for control and eradication by Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.

Russian Knapweed is a creeping perennial.  It reproduces by seeds and creeping, horizontal roots.  The ridged stems are erect, rather stiff, branched, and one to three feet high.  Young stems are covered with soft gray hairs or nap. 

The upper leaves are small and narrow with broken edges.  Leaves attached midway up the stem have slightly toothed margins, while basal leaves are deeply notched.  The flowers are thistle-like, solitary, terminal, 1/3 to ½ inch in diameter and lavender to white.  The plant flowers in June to August and seed is produced in later summer to early fall. 

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Scotch Thistle

“List B” species. Designated for control and eradication by Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.

Scotch Thistle is a biennial that can reach a height of 8 feet.  Large, coarsely loped, hairy leaves have a velvety-grey appearance.  The rosette forms the first year and can have leaves up to 2 feet long and 1 foot wide.  It has a reddish-purple to violet flower and seeds about 3/16 inches long and tipped with slender bristles.

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