SKELETONWEED, Lygodesmia juncea (Pursh) D. Don. 1, upper part of stem with flowers; 2, flower head; 3, seed. Perennial, reproducing from long taproot and by seeds. Stem 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 cm) tall, rigid, much branched, usually tufted, finely grooved, containing milky juice, rushlike Leaves alternate, narrow, lower ones about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long, upper ones reduced to scales or sharp-pointed bracts making the stem appear leafless. Flowers pink or white, mostly 5 per head at end of stems. Fruits are 1-seeded (achenes), 3/16 to 1/4 inch (4.5 to 6 mm) long, narrow with 8 to 10 ribs on each side of achene. Found in meadows, plains, and waste places, mostly on light dry soils. The bitter milky juice of stems and leaves is suspected of being poisonous to livestock.