Salsola tragus

Russian Thistle
Salsola tragus

Family: Amaranth (Amaranthaceae)
AKA: Tumbleweed
Photo taken on: September 25, 2009
Location: Bandelier National Monument, NM
Life Zones: Plains
Habitat: Dry, sandy disturbed areas

Can grow to 6ft tall, usually 3ft, with many reddish branches and spine-tipped leaves. Tiny flowers grow in leaf axils with spine-tipped bracts.

It grows in a rounded clump and is the most common kind of tumbleweed. The plant dries out as the fruits develop, then breaks off at the base of the stem and is blown about by the wind, dropping seeds as it rolls. arrow

Flora of North America reference.

Salsola tragusSalsola tragus

White/Cream Long Clusters