Common kochia (Kochia scoparia)

Common kochia Common Names: Kochia, Mexican fireweed, marabel, mock cypress, summer cyprus, burning-bush, fireball, burningbush

Description: Grown as an ornamental and can be toxic.

Habit: Introduced, erect, annual forb with a taproot that forms pyramidal or rounded bushes up to 7 feet tall.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, linear to narrowly ovate to 5.5 cm long, hairy depending on age. Short petioled or sessile with 1-5 prominent veins and entire margins fringed with hairs.

Stems: Green, red tinged or red depending on age.

Flowers: Green leaf-like bracts and surrounded by tufts of hair. Inflorescence is a spike and is axillary and terminal. Flowers are either perfect with 3-5 stamens or pistillate with both types having 2 stigmas.

Fruit and seeds: Utricle fruits with an oval, brown to black seed within.

Habitat: Native to Asia. Found in grasslands, prairies and scrublands when soil is poor and rocky.

Reproduction: By seed and sometimes forms colonies. Highly invasive due to its' tumbleweed mode of seed dispersal.

Monitoring and rapid response: Some populations have shown a resistance to 2, 4-D, triazine, auxinic herbicides, dicamba and sufonylurea. Leaf characteristics, such as pubescence and wax, make herbicide absorption difficult.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Guide.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Common kochia

Scientific Name:

Kochia scoparia







USDA Symbol: