Corispermum hyssopifdlium, L. (Corispermum nitidum, Kit.)
Native. Annual. Propagates by seeds.
Time of bloom: July to September.
Seed-time: September to November.
Range: Shores of the Great Lakes to the Northwest Territory and
This is another of the plants that often become tumbleweeds when mature, which explains why its range extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle. It is well known also in Europe and Asia.
Stems pale green, succulent and finely hairy when young, but becoming smooth, hard, and faintly ridged with age, often strongly zigzagged, very freely branched, six inches to two feet in length, the longer branches spreading and usually decumbent but the shorter ones erect. Lower leaves alternate, narrowly linear but rather thick, with the base somewhat dilated, one-nerved, sessile, spreading, a half-inch to two inches long, tipped with a hard, rigid point (cuspidate); the upper, floral leaves, or bracts, are very different, being thinner, ovate, pointed, little more than a quarter-inch long, with dry, scarious margins. In the axils of these reduced leaves are the solitary flowers, hardly an eighth of an inch long; the calyx consists of one delicate sepal, rarely a second one; stamens one to three; styles two. Seed oval, somewhat flattened, with a winged margin, the two persistent styles extended like antennae, completing its likeness to a small bug.
Prevent seeding by thorough and very late tillage of cultivated crops. Infested meadows should be harvested while the weed is young and succulent. Burn over infested ground where plants have matured, in order to destroy seeds on the surface.