Alhagi maurorum Medik


Alhagi maurorum is a perennial shrub that grows 2-3 ft. (0.6-0.9 m) tall. Sharp yellow spines that are actually modified stems are from 1-2 in. (2.5-5 cm) in length.
The leaves are alternate, ovate to lanceolate from 0.25-1.25 in. (0.6-3.2 cm) long with smooth margins.
The small, pea-like flowers extend from the spines located along the rigid branches. They are produced in June to August. These flowers are brown to maroon in color.
Seed pods are constricted between the individual seeds and are tipped with a small beak.
Ecological Threat
Alhagi maurorum is found in arid, agricultural areas and riverbanks of the western U.S. where it has access to water during the growing season. The plant rapidly colonizes an area by producing new plants from its creeping roots. It is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia and was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s as a contaminant in alfalfa seed.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Alhagi
Subject: Alhagi maurorum Medik

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
camel thorn

Related Scientific Names:
Alhagi camelorum Medik (Synonym)
Alhagi pseudalhagi Medik (Synonym)


Plants - Shrub or Subshrub