Also known as: American garden rue, evil’s shoestring, rabbit-pea, Virginia pea, professor-weed
Goatsrue is one tough invasive species to manage. With a deep taproot and long-lived seeds, it can quickly take over a habitat and stay for many years to come. All parts of the plant are toxic to livestock.
|Life Cycle:||Perennial (life cycle lasts more than one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||Yes|
|Height:||Up to 6 feet (2 meters) tall|
|Stem & Leaf Description:||Has hollow stems and alternate, compoundCompound A leaf consisting of several distinct leaflets joined to a single stem. leaves with 6 to 10 pairs of leaflets.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Flowers are tones of purple and can sometimes be white. Flowers resemble peas and are found clustered at the end of stems. |
Like many members of the pea family, it forms seed pods. Its oblong seeds are mustard colored and can remain viable in the soil for 10 years. Each plant can produce upwards of 15,000 seed pods.
|Bloom Time:||June to October|
- Prefers areas that receive full sun and have moist soil.
- It grows in croplands, irrigation ditches, pastures, roadways, and wet marshy areas.
- Grows in dense stands and is capable of forming monocultures, which displace native vegetation and reduce wildlife habitat.
- The plant’s stems and leaves are toxic to livestock, particularly sheep and goats.
What we’re doing about it:
- Goatsrue is a priority species for the Tualatin SWCD. As such, our Invasive Species Program has been actively monitoring and treating it throughout the watershed.
- If identified within Washington County, a specially trained crew can come out survey for goatsrue. If found, the crew will treat the infestation for free.
What you can do about it:
- If you think you’ve found goatsrue anywhere in Oregon, please report it to the Oregon Invasive Species Hotline.
- Effectively treating goatsrue can be a challenge, because of its seed’s longevity. A combination of several Integrated Pest Management practices including crop rotation, seed pod removal, and landowner education is recommended to treat goastrue.
- Small infestations can be dug up with a shovel or hand pulled. Make sure to remove all of the plant’s roots to prevent plants from resprouting. Dispose of all plant materials in a tied plastic bag and throw it away in the trash – not yard debris or home compost.
Wild licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota) is a native plant that looks like goatsrue. The best way to tell these two species apart is by examining their stems: wild licorice has solid stems while goatsrue’s stems are hollow.
Goatsrue also looks similar to many species of vetch (Viciia genus), when not in flower. Vetch species are viney with stems that grow over and around other plants while goatsrue grows upright.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Class A & T|
|State of Washington:||Class A|
Download the Goatsrue Best Management Practices Factsheet