Salsola tragus

Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Salsola australis, S. iberica, S. kali var. tenuifolia, S. kali ssp. ruthenica, S. kali ssp. tenuifolia, S. kali ssp. tragus, S. pestifera, S. ruthenica.

Common names: Russian thistle; common saltwort; prickly Russian thistle; Russian tumbleweed; tumbleweed; tumbling weed; windwitch; witchweed; prickly glasswort

Salsola tragus (Russian-thistle) is a large, bushy summer annual (family Chenopodiaceae). It can be found throughout California, including in agricultural areas, desert, roadsides and other disturbed areas. Russian-thistle can impede traffic, create fire hazards, and is a host of the beet leaf-hopper, an agricultural insect pest.

Rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

None for this species.

Cal-IPC News Articles