Also known as: American garden rue, catgut, 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. Even early herbicide trials have proven ineffective against it. All parts of the plant are toxic; goatsrue is not only a locally and state-listed noxious species, but it is also federally listed.
|Life Cycle:||Perennial (life cycle lasts more than one year)|
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||Yes|
|Height:||2 to 6 feet (.5 to 2 meters)|
|Stem & Leaf Description:||Has hollow stems and alternate, compound 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 colored in 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 containing mustard colored, oblong seeds that can remain viable in the soil for 10 years. Each plant can produce upwards of 15,000 seed pods.|
|Bloom Time:||June to October|
- It grows in croplands, irrigation ditches, pastures, roadways, and wet marshy areas.
- Prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade.
- Grows in dense stands and is capable of forming monocultures Growing a single crop or plant., which displace native vegetation and reduce wildlife habitat.
- The plant’s stems and leaves are toxic to humans and livestock, particularly sheep and goats.
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.
Wild licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota) is a native plant that is similar in appearance to 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:
Download the Goatsrue Best Management Practices Factsheet