Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Salsola tragus
L., Chenopodiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  See risk assessment for Salsola kali.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: ci sha peng

English: Russian cactus, Russian thistle, Russian tumbleweed, spineless saltwort, tumbleweed

French: soude épineuse, soude roulante

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Annual herbs; stems 3-10 dm long, intricately many-branched, forming a round, bushy clump, with age breaking off and becoming a tumbleweed, glabrous or sometimes sparsely hirsute.  Leaves linear, terete when fresh, somewhat flattened when dry, 3-5 cm long, upper leaves usually only 0.5-0.8 cm long, apex spine-tipped.  Calyx with enlarged membranous wings in fruit, 3-6 mm wide when well-developed, those of lowermost flowers often merely carinate.  Seed black, shiny, 1.5-2 mm in diameter"  (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 540-541).

"Herbs annual, 30-100 cm tall. Stem erect, branched from base, white, or purple-red striate, densely hispid or subglabrous. Leaves semiterete or terete, 1.5-4 cm x 0.5-1.5 mm, glabrous or hispid, base expanded, margin membranous at base, apex spinose mucronate. Inflorescence spikelike; bracts narrowly ovate, longer than bractlets, margin membranous at base, apex spinose mucronate; bractlets ovate, apex spinose mucronate. Perianth (including wings) 7-10 mm in diameter in fruit; segments narrowly ovate, membranous, hardened in fruit, abaxially 1-veined and winged from middle, glabrous; portion of segment above wing connivent with others and enclosing utricle, subleathery, apex membranous; 3 wings sometimes light purple-red, reniform or obovate, larger; other 2 wings narrower. Stigmas filiform, 3-4 x as long as style. Seed horizontal, ca. 2 mm in diameter"  (Flora of China online).

Description from the Flora of North America

See also Salsola kali.

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "sparingly naturalized along roadsides and in other disturbed areas on Hawai‘i (Big) Island"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 541), "in industrial area hard pan and nearby scrub" on Moloka‘i (Starr, Starr & Loope, 2006; p. 34), a roadside weed on Maui (Oppenheimer & Bartlett, 2002; pp. 5-6), on former sugarcane fields and in scrub vegetation on O‘ahu (Herbst et al., 2004; p. 5).

Propagation:  Seed.  The dry, ball-shaped plant breaks off at ground level when mature and is rolled by the wind, spreading seeds as it goes.

Native range:  Eurasia and north Africa (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 540-541)
Misidentified as Salsola kali. Spreading only slowly. Voucher cited: Kawasaki 4 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaho‘olawe Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 19)
Vouchers cited: Aschmann s.n. (BISH 634258), Aschmann s.n. (BISH 634259), Aschmann s.n. (BISH 634257)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, Randal T. (2002) (pp. 5-6)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H50014 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim (2012) (p. 88)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Starr 110412-1 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2006) (p. 34)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 050516-3 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: W. Char & C. Morden s.n. (BISH 695053)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Physical:  "Cattle will graze the plant, and fence lines bar the movement of detached plants.  These may be the reasons Russian thistle has not spread faster than it has"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Chemical: "It is very sensitive to hormone-type dicot killers"  (Motooka et al., 2003).


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This page was created on 28 JAN 2007 and was last updated on 9 DEC 2010.