The Enemy: Syrian beancaper (Zygophyllum fabago) is a perennial plant that is native to the Syrian desert and Mediterranean region. This listed Noxious Weed has a creeping root system that aids in its ability to spread from place to place. This is accomplished by root fragments being transported on equipment from field to field. Yellow to pink flowers produce small ‘bean’ looking seed pods, although this plant does not spread much from the seeds. Paired leaflets give the leaf an interesting Y-shaped appearance. The plant produces short branches giving the plant an appearance of a small bush. The plant especially likes to invade deserts, dry grasslands, roadsides, and frequently disturbed sites such as cultivated fields. This plant has been found in Power and Blain Counties among others.
The Strategy: As this plant is succulent like; it draws any remaining moisture out of the soil. This is extremely detrimental to the desired vegetation, especially in dry-land crops. The ability to remain green during droughty times makes it a real pest during harvest of most crops. There is no forage value to the plant therefore it spreads across rangelands quite aggressively. The plant is not toxic to livestock, although I do not know of an animal that will graze upon it.
The Defense: Cleaning of equipment between fields is key to reducing the spread of the plant. Once detected mechanical control is effective as long as you make sure you get most of the roots out of the ground. Very little is known on which herbicides are effective, although it looks like Telar XP maybe effective. Spraying it early in the year with a combination of Dicamba and 2,4-D will keep the plant at bay but most importantly don’t spread the weed by allowing it to ‘Hitch-Hike’ in the soils left on equipment as you travel from field to field.
PLEASE NOTE – The proper use and application of herbicides can be an effective way to control and eradicate noxious and invasive plants. Before using herbicides, always carefully follow the label and safety instructions on the label. While we recommend the use of herbicides as one of the effective tools for integrated pest management, the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign assumes no liability for herbicide applications.