Five-horn Smotherweed - Bassia hyssopifolia
Five-hook Bassia, Thorn Orache
Annual herbs with long-hairy foliage. Stems erect, branched, to 80 cm. Leaves sessile, linear-lanceolate, to 2 cm long with entire margins. Inflorescence terminal and lateral, bracteate spikes or flowers clustered in leaf axils. Flowers mostly perfect; calyx ca. 2 mm across, the 5 segments united below, each with a hooked spine up to 2 mm long; stamens 5. Fruit flattened, enclosed by calyx; seed horizontal (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Bassia hyssopifolia is sometimes confused with Russian thistles in our area (Salsola collina and S. tragus). Species of Russian thistle are more profusely branched and spiny than Bassia (Fischer et al. 1979).
In MT occuring in only about seven counties across much of state; native to Eurasia, naturalized across most of western temperate N. Amer. (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Welsh 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 4).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.