Annual or perennial bushy-branched herbs, with rigid subulate prickle-pointed leaves, and sessile perfect 2-bracteolate flowers, solitary in the axils, or sometimes several together. Calyx 5-parted, its segments appendaged by a broad membranous horizontal wing in fruit and enclosing the utricle. Stamens 5. Ovary depressed; styles 2. Utricle flattened. Seed horizontal; embryo coiled into a conic spiral; endosperm none. [Name Latin, a diminutive of salsus, salty.]

About 50 species, of wide geographic distribution on seashores and in saline districts, occasionally pernicious weeds in cultivated grounds. Type species: Salsola Soda L.

Calyx coriaceous, not conspicuously veined; plant maritime.


S. Kali.

Calyx membranous, very strongly veined; plant an inland weed.


S. pestifer.

1. Salsola Kali L. Saltwort. Prickly Glassvvort

Fig. 1713

Salsola Kali L. Sp. Pl. 222. 1753. Salsola Tragus L. Sp. Pl. Ed. 2, 322. 1762. Salsola caroliniana Walt. Fl. Car. III. 1788.

Annual, glabrous or often pubescent, loosely much branched, 1°-2° high, the branches ascending or spreading, mostly stout, somewhat ridged. Leaves dull green or grayish, 3"-10" long, succulent, lanceolate-subulate, swollen at the base, the midvein excurrent into a stout yellowish green prickle; flowers solitary in the axils; wing of the persistent calyx nearly orbicular, lobed, becoming lacerate, not conspicuously veined, 2"-4" in diameter; calyx coriaceous, veined, its wing about as long as the ascending lobe.

On sea beaches. Cape Breton Island to Florida. Also in Europe and Asia. Sea- or Salt-grape. Sea-thrift. Russian thistle. Kelpwort. July-Sept.

1 Salsola Kali L Saltwort Prickly Glassvvort 551 Salsola Kali L Saltwort Prickly Glassvvort 56

2. Salsola Péstifer A. Nelson. Russian Thistle Or Cactus

Fig. 1714

S. Kah rosacea Pall. 1ll. PL 36, pl. 28, f. I. 1803.

Not S. rosacea L. S. Kali tenuifolia F. W. Meyer. Chlor. Han. 470. 1836. S. pestifer A. Nelson, Rocky Mt. Bot. 169. 1909.

Similar to the preceding species, but bushy branched, the branches usually slender. Leaves and outer branches usually bright red at maturity; leaves not noticeably swollen at the base, linear, prickle-tipped, less fleshy; calyx membranous, veiny, its wing as long as the ascending lobe or longer.

In cultivated fields and waste places, New Jersey to Ontario, the Northwest Territory, Kansas and Washington. A very troublesome weed in many parts of the Central and Western States. Naturalized from northern Europe or Asia. July-Sept.