Chenopodiaceae
Salsola kali

Russian Thistle

Spreading stems numerous from single root, much-branched. Stems and leaves green to red or purple, supple when young, aging to hard, round, prickly tumbleweeds. Alternate leaves numerous, linear to thread-like, thick. Flowers tiny, single in upper leaf axils, same color in center as stems, white on outside, bracts spine-like. Seed capsules pink to orange. Grows in steppe and coastal regions along roads, fencerows, in pastures. Noxious weed, invasive on disturbed ground. Salsola is Latin for "salty," referring to the habitats of this genus.

  • Rarity: Common
  • Flowering Time: Late Summer
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Height: 1--4 feet
  • Habitat: Disturbed
  • Found In: Wallowas, East Gorge, Great Basin
  • Native: No