This low-growing, cushion-like plant has white, pink, or purple flowers that mature and produce distinctive white woolly seed pods. The stems are only two to four inches long. The leaves are the gray-green color of sagebrush. Like all legumes, locoweed helps to fix nitrogen in the soil.


Russian knapweed grows up to three feet tall with considerably branched stems. Leaves up to six inches long and one and a half inches wide grow near the base of the plant and become smaller toward the top. The small half-inch flower heads on the branch tips may be white, pink, or lavender-blue.

Shooting star has flowers at the top of leafless stems two to sixteen inches tall. The leaves are smooth and oblong, one to six inches long, and grow from the base. The unusual shaped flower is easily identified by the five pink petals pulled back from five colorful stamens, nodding toward earth like a “shooting star”.