Time of bloom: July to September.
Seed-time: September to November.
Range: Locally in most of the states; most common in the Middle
West. Habitat: Fields, waste places.
Fig. 65. - Fireball (Kochia Scoparia). X 1/4.
Wherever this plant is established as a weed it has usually first been cultivated in gardens for its bright coloring in autumn. It is becoming increasingly common, particularly on the prairies, where the winds carry it far on the unrestricted levels, for its rounded, compact growth makes it a tumbleweed. Its name of "Mexican fire-weed" is a misnomer, for it is an immigrant from Europe.
Stem one to three feet in height, very slender, round, pale green, erect and diffusely branching. Leaves very numerous, one to three inches long, pale green, pointed, linear, the upper ones almost thread-like in their narrowness. Flowers sessile in the upper axils, forming short, dense, bracted spikes; calyx five-lobed, each segment bearing a small, triangular wing; seed coat membranaceous. In autumn the dense foliage turns fiery red, but later the plants become brown and unsightly. (Fig. 65.)
Means of control the same as for the Winged Pigweed.