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Thistle, Russian

Other names: Tumbleweed, saltwort
Life cycle: Annual
Found in: Dry livestock ranges, cropland, roadsides and disturbed sites throughout the western U.S.
General description: Bushy noxious plant, usually about 3 feet high but can be taller. Breaks off from its stem when mature and dries up, often creating fire and traffic hazards when the wind blows it across the ground.
Seedlings: Cotyledons are long and slender like pine needles.
True leaves: Leaves are bluish-green, alternate (but may appear opposite) and soft and fleshy
with a weak spine at the tip.
Flowers and fruit: Flowers lack petals but have an outer whorl of translucent petallike sepals that are pink to deep red. Fruit is small and round, with winglike structures that are flat, and contains one seed.

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