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Kochia (Bassia scoparia)
Annual Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Kochia (Bassia scoparia)

General: Kochia (Bassia scoparia) is an invasive shrubby annual. The plant grows upright with inconspicuous flowers, and the linear leaves are gray-green and covered with long, soft hairs. The flowers lack petals, but the sepals are radial and 5-lobed. The lobes are hairless or with few hairs. The stems become reddish towards the end of the growing season.

Kochia is a nasty, invasive weed that is an uncommon component of disturbed semi-desert vegetation. Around Las Vegas, this species is uncommon -- let's all work to make sure it stays that way.

Keep an eye out for this species. Land managers are actively working to eradicate Kochia, so hopefully you won't see it anywhere. Kochia is on the "Watch Weeds" list in the Lower Las Vegas Wash.

Kochia (Bassia scoparia)

Family: Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae).

Other Names: summer-cyprus, burning-bush, fireball, burningbush, Mexican fireweed, mock cypress, Kochia scoparia.

Plant Form: Shrubby annual.

Height: To about 4 feet.

Kochia (Bassia scoparia)

Stems: Many; turn red towards the end of the growing season.

Leaves: Gray-green, lanceolate. Leaves to about 2-inches long, narrow (to 3.5 mm wide), flat. Lower leaves 3 to 5-veined.

Flowers: Inconspicuous. Flowers grow along the stem; petals none; sepals radial, 5-lobed, without hairs or with few hairs.

Seeds: Small, flat, remain enclosed in sepals.

Kochia (Bassia scoparia)
Stems become reddish.

Habitat: Disturbed upland area, roadsides, pastures, gardens.

Elevation: To about 4,000 feet.

Distribution: Throughout North America. Native to Asia.

Comments: This invasive weed can be toxic to livestock.

For More Information: DiTomaso, J.M., and E.A. Healy. 2007. Weeds of California and other Western States. University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources Publication 3488. 2 Vol. ISBN 978-1-879906-69-3.

Kochia (Bassia scoparia)
Inconspicuous flowers grows along the stem
Kochia (Bassia scoparia)
Inconspicuous flowers grow along the stem. Note long hairs on leaves
Kochia (Bassia scoparia)
Sepals in fives, petals absent; flower radial
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 141117

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