Salsola kali (Russian Thistle) - photos and description






Leaves thread-like, stems with red stripes

General: Annual plant with a much branched growth habit. Stems are often red-striped. Stems sparingly hairy with very short hairs. After the plants have set seed, they often break off at ground level and tumble about - scattering their seed.

Listed as a nuisance weed in Saskatchewan.

Flowers: Flowers grow in leaf axils, are reddish-pink in colour. We measured flowers at 5 mm diameter. Bracts are barbed, measured at 5 mm long by 1 mm wide.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, thread-like; leaf highlighted in photo above was 35 mm long by 1 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants to 28 cm tall.

Habitat: Light soils in fields, roadsides, waste places.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Introduced.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken August 8th on the shores of the South Saskatchewan River about 200 km west of Regina, SK, and September 10th in gravel pits,  about 70 km northwest of our home in Regina, SK.