Mexican Fireweed

Kochia scoparia

 

 

Description: This invasive is an erect annual forb with a taproot. The leaves are alternately arranged and very short petiole or sessile. Kochia can be used for control of soil erosion. 

 

Ecological Threat:  This plant is considered a weed and has the potential to be harmful to animals that graze on it.

 

Biology & Spread:  Kochia can grow in a variety of extreme soil conditions.  This plant can survive in sandy and alkaline soil, is drought resistant, and can grow in areas with thin topsoil. When this plant matures it breaks off at the base, becoming a tumbleweed. The tumbleweed disperses the seed, giving kochia a high rate of spread.

 

Threat in Oklahoma:  This plant can be toxic to livestock and can be deadly if consumed in large quantities by cattle, sheep, or horses.  Kochia is highly invasive and can persist in extreme environments. 

Image Credit: John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org - See more at: http://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5164021#sthash.0HD57ybg.dpuf

 

References:

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States

Texas Invasives

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

USDA PLANTS Database

Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

 

OK Invasives is the informational and citizen science project website for the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council and their partners.

 

Email : okipc@ou.edu

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