E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Salsola tragus L.
Russian thistle
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
(Previously in Chenopodiaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gordon Neish  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #46880)

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Distribution of Salsola tragus
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Species Information

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General:
Annual herb from a fibrous root; stems ascending, solitary, freely branched, glabrous to hairy, purplish, 0.1-1.0 m tall, becoming hardened, ridged and rounded in late summer, then breaking at groundlevel to form "tumbleweeds".
Leaves:
Stem leaves alternate, linear, entire, succulent, spiny at the tip, reduced upward but broadened at the base, merging with papery-margined bracts.
Flowers:
Inflorescence of solitary or clustered flowers in the axils of the spiny bracts; calyces 5-parted, becoming winged or keeled on the back.
Fruits:
Thin, papery-walled, membranous envelopes, flattened, purplish, winged with prominent veins, cup-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones, frequent in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Salsola tragus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 279 525 890
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
23 214 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
36
Modal BEC Zone Class
BG
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(32), IDF(2), PP(2)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Salsola australis R. Br.
Salsola iberica (Sennen & Pau) Botsch. ex Czerep.
Salsola kali L.
Salsola kali subsp. ruthenica (Iljin) SoĆ³
Salsola kali subsp. tenuifolia Moq.
Salsola kali subsp. tragus (L.) Celak.
Salsola pestifer A. Nelson
Salsola ruthenica Iljin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References