Salsola paulsenii

Salsola paulsenii_barbwire Russian thistle_JM DiTomaso_cropped
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: formerly considered part of Russian thistle species (Salsola iberica or Salsola tragus)

Common names: barbwire Russian thistle

Salsola paulsenii (barbwire Russian thistle) is a bushy annual (family Chenopodiaceae) found throughout the Mojave Desert of California. It is native to southeastern Europe, central Asia. It prefers loose, sandy soils in desert scrub and disturbed areas, such as roadsides and cultivated fields. Barbwire Russian thistle is easily confused with Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), and the two species can hybridize, making a plant that looks like a mix between the two species. Both species reproduce using seeds which can only survive for up to two years in the soil. Cultivation can effectively control barbwire Russian thistle seedlings, but must be repeated until all seeds in the seedbank loose viability.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: -*?


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.

Special Reports

Pest Notes on Russian Thistle (From the University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program)

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Salsola paulsenii Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Salsola paulsenii_flowers, leaves, and stem_copyright2018_NealKramer
    Salsola paulsenii (barbwire Russian thistle) flowers, leaves, and stem. Photo: &#169 2018 Neal Kramer
    Salsola paulsenii_growth habit (senescent)_copyright2018_NealKramer
    Salsola paulsenii (barbwire Russian thistle) growth habit (senescent). Photo: &#169 2018 Neal Kramer