Bitter weed a common sight in Alberta

Noxious grassland invader: Tall buttercup

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Tall buttercup is often found in Alberta, including in the MD of Lesser Slave River as well as Big Lakes, Yellowhead, Clearwater, and Mountain View counties.

This plant contains a bitter, irritating oil that is toxic and can harm grazing livestock, especially cattle.

This weed is an invader of wet areas, preferring humus soils, but also surviving in coarser soils, if enough moisture is available. Livestock tend to avoid eating it, but this can allow this weed to take over.

It has erect stems, highly branched in the upper part of the plant and can grow to 90 centimetres tall. It has bright-yellow flowers and five petals with a shiny, waxy appearance on the upper side. Leaves are deeply divided, three to eight centimetres long towards the bottom of the plant and smaller towards the top of the stem.

Herbicide is the most effective way to control an established infestation, while a healthy strong stand of grass will outcompete tall buttercup.

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