Extension Viewpoints

Species Spotlight: bouncing bet


This summer, the format for articles coming from the Weed and Pest Department will be a little different. 

Over the last seven years I have focused on a Weed of the Month, and after seven years most of the notable weeds have been covered. 

I could dive into the obscure weeds which you are likely to never see here in Archuleta County (and ones that I have never seen), but instead we will be switching to a species spotlight each month and rotate between a noxious weed, a biocontrol agent and a native species.

To kick off the season, we will start with a B List Noxious Weed: bouncing bet. Bouncing bet is the newest invader in the county and was discovered last summer growing just north of the transfer station in the county right of way. 

It is likely a garden escapee, and my guess is that a seed or several seeds blew out of the back of a truck after someone took their garden refuse to the landfill or transfer station. 

Bouncing bet is available for purchase in the U.S. as an ornamental, so be diligent when planning your gardens to avoid unknowingly planting an invasive species.

Bouncing bet is a perennial species which reproduces by both seeds and rhizomes and can produce up to 1,500 seeds per plant. The flowers are light pink to white and are about an inch wide, with five slightly notched petals. Some varieties are double blooming and will have up to 10 petals. 

Bouncing bet grows between 1 and 3 feet tall and has opposite, lance-shaped leaves which grow between 1 and 4 inches long, and between half an inch to 2 inches wide. 

It is toxic to grazing animals and contains a chemical which causes it to lather in water, giving it the alternate name of soapwort.

Landowner Stewardship Series

Do you own property in Archuleta County? Would you like to know more about your land and its resources? The CSU Extension office and the San Juan Conservation District are hosting an in-depth Landowner Stewardship Series on best practices on your land. 

April 30 at 6 p.m. will be on range and soil health. 

Go to our Facebook page for information and registration. This is a free event, but registration is strongly suggested.

Chamber After Hours

Chamber After Hours will be on April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Extension office. The first 20 people will receive a free Colorado blue spruce in celebration of Arbor Day.

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month at the CSU Extension office, generally on the second Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 246-5931 to register. 

Check out the online option on our website, https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/.