Details and Information

Common Names

Burr ragweed, silverleaf povertyweed


Skeletonleaf bursage is a perennial that can grow up to 3 feet tall. The leaves are alternate and can be up to 5 inches long and are very deeply lobed with coarsely toothed margins. The lobes are reduced in size from leaf base to the tip. The upper leaf surfaces are greenish gray and have rough hairs; the lower surface is white with short, dense hairs. Flower heads are ¼ inch wide and are produced from June through August. It has yellow flowers that are either male or female (not both). Fruits are 2 seeded, light brown burs with up to 10 short spines. The root system has an extensive horizontal root. This plant will produce by the seeds or by the creeping roots. 

Key Features

The staminate flowers are found in solitary, elongated, terminal clusters. The pistillate flowers form in fairs in leaf axils below. The fruit are light brown bur with conical spines and contains one or more achenes. 


Skeletonleaf bursage will grow in cultivated fields, pastures, prairies and waste areas. 


There are herbicides and other control methods that control skeletonleaf bursage. Tordon and glyphosate are the most common herbicides that provide a level of control. Treatments must be done before seed establishment for effective control. For more information on these herbicides and other control methods contact the Crook County Weed and Pest office. 

Other Facts

Skeletonleaf bursage is native to the great plains of the U.S.