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Saltwort (Salsola kali)

Saltwort Common Names: Prickly saltwort, Russian thistle, tumbleweed, glasswort

Description: Introduced to North America in contaminated flax seed.

Habit: Bushy, dense annuals that reach a height of 31-152 cm. high.

Leaves: Alternate, 1.3-6.4 cm. long, thread-like, cylindrical or awl-shaped with pointed tips.

Stems: Branched, rigid, often reddish with age but green when young.

Flowers: Solitary, small and greenish to white in color and lack petals. Papery spine-tipped bracts are present at the base of each flower.

Fruit and seeds: Small, winged, 3-9 mm. seed.

Habitat: Native to Eurasia. Found in roadsides, ditches, abandoned fields, overgrazed ranges, and pastures.

Reproduction: By seed. Capable of producing up to 1 million seeds per plant.

Monitoring and rapid response: Hand-pull or uproot young plants or hoe just below ground level before seed set. Mowing is not recommended but repeat mowing may provide some control. Resistance to trazine herbicides have been observed.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from BugwoodWiki and Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products.

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:


Scientific Name:

Salsola kali







USDA Symbol: