fivehorn smotherweed, more...
[Echinopsilon hyssopifolius (Pallas) Moq., more]
5-100 cm. Stems
divari-cately branched or simple. Leaves
sessile (or sometimes narrowed into pseudopetiole); blade lanceolate-elliptic, lanceolate, or linear, flat, base cuneate. Inflorescences
with ± straight axes. Perianth segments
with thin, hooked spine adaxially at maturity. 2n
= 18. Flowering late summer-fall. Saline habitats, coastal dunes, salt marshes, disturbed habitats, roadsides, fields; 0-1200 m; introduced; Alta., B.C.; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mass., Mont., Nev., N.Mex., N.Y., Oreg., S.Dak., Tex., Utah, Wash., Wyo.; Eurasia (e Europe, arid regions of Asia). Bassia hyssopifolia
has been reported from southern Saskatchewan, but H. J. Scoggan (1978-1979, part 3) noted that this record possibly referred to Kochia scoparia
(Linnaeus) Schrader. Putative hybrids between B. hyssopifolia
and K. scoparia
are reported from Utah (S. L. Welsh 1984). Such hybridization is extremely interesting because it has not been reported within the native ranges of those species in Eurasia. I have seen only one specimen that might represent such a hybrid. Its general habit resembles Bassia
(including pubescent leaves), but its perianth segments are very variable, with winglike, conic, or almost spinescent appendages.
Plant: annual, < 1 m; Stem: axis generally erect; branches ascending to erect Leaves: linear to lanceolate, reduced upward; lower 5-60 mm, 1-3.5 mm wide, flat, often withered in fruit INFLORESCENCE: spike, 5-50 mm; bracts 2-5 mm, leaf-like, ± oblong; flowers 1-few per axil Flowers: calyx densely tan-woolly, base in fruit leathery, spines ± 1 mm, calyx lobes 5, incurved, hooked-spiny in fruit; stamens generally 5; stigmas generally 2 Fruit: utricle, ± depressed-spheric, 1-1.5 mm diam; Seed dark brown, horizontal (fruit compressed top-to-bottom) Misc: Disturbed sites, fields, roadsides; < 1200 m.; Jul-Oct Notes: Calyx is leafy, bract-like, ovate lobed with spreading hooked spine on the back of each lobe.Infloresence in terminal spikes or solitary axial clusters. Leaf surface villous, pilose, or lanate. The hairs simple and slender. References: Kearney & Peebles; Arizona Flora. ASU Specimans.