BugwoodWiki Article

Salsola tragus L.


Salsola tragus is an annual herb that can grow to 4 ft. (1.2 m) tall. It was introduced into the United States in the mid 1870s, possibly as a contaminant in flax seed.
Leaves are alternate and narrow. Upper leaves have a sharp point at the apex and are 1.3-2 in. (3.3-5.1 cm) long.
Flowering occurs from midsummer to fall, when small, pink to greenish flowers develop from the leaf axils. Each flower is subtended by 3, spine-tipped leaves.
Fruits are 0.19-0.31 in. (4.8-7.9 mm) in diameter including the wings. Wings are opaque with smooth margins and veins.
Ecological Threat
After Salsola tragus matures it detaches from the root system and tumbles in the wind, spreading seed (like another common name “tumbleweed” suggests). It is native to Eurasia.


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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 www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

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

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Chenopodiaceae
Genus: Salsola

Other System Links

Plants: SATR12
Bayer: SASKR
GRIN: 32817
ITIS: 520950

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
prickly Russian thistle

Related Scientific Names:

Salsola iberica L.(Synonym)


Category: Forbs/Herbs