Pure Evil
0 comment Wednesday, October 8, 2014 |

This is the dreaded Goathead Bur, an evil thorn endemic to Colorado's plains. The weed has other names, like "puncture vine", "devil's thorn", "devil's weed" and "Mexican sandbur".
To these thorns, I owe all but one of the flat tires I've gotten in Denver. The goathead also gets credit for a double flat my step-dad received when he borrowed my 3-speed to go on a ride with my mom; I had to leave work to go pick them up. My little brother's first trip out here was also colored by a double flat from a patch of these bastards, although he did upgrade my tubes to heavy duty rubber to resolve the problem.

These photos were taken at West High School near my house, where they appear to be cultivating them in the planter boxes that used to grow trees, as well as the entire way around their running track.
I meticulously pluck out every nascent weed from my yard so that these evil plants are nowhere near my bike tires, and I have even gone so far as to stop on my bike commute to remove them from places I know I will be riding through on a daily basis.
These were growing on the sidewalk near my entrance to the bikepath. I pulled all of them out while rush hour cars drove past wondering what the heck I was doing.
Unfortunately, West High is too far gone for anything but radical intervention. Their time is short, these devils dry out in August, and start scattering around the city at about the same time. Stay on your toes, dear reader, goathead season is near.
I understand there is an ecologically safe method for attacking Goatheads:
Two weevils, Microlarinus lareynii and M. lypriformis, native to India, France, and Italy, were introduced into the United States as biocontrol agents in 1961. Both species of weevils are available for purchase from biological suppliers but purchase and release is not often recommended because weevils collected from other areas may not survive at the purchaser's location.
And as we all know, when given the choice, we must choose the lesser of two weevils.

Anyone know where I can buy a swarm of these little guys?

Labels: , ,