IPMP3.0, Oregon State University, Copyright 2000

Russian Thistle
Chenopodiaceae (Salsola iberica)


Biology and Management

Registered Herbicides

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Russian Thistle Seedling (link to large image)

Russian Thistle Flowers (link to large image)

Russian Thistle Seedling Russian Thistle Flowers

Russian Thistle Mature Plant (link to large image)

Russian thistle is an annual. This weed reproduces by seed and a single plant may produce 20,000 to 50,000 seeds. Seeds germinate quickly, even after brief or limited precipitation. The plants are well branched, round bushy that grow 1/2 to 3 feet high. The stems have reddish or purple strips. The leaves are alternate, long, and very thin or needle-like. Flowers are small and inconspicuous and develop in the upper leaf axils. Each flower has a pair of spiny bracts. Mature plants break off at ground level and tumble, spreading the seeds. This species is a host of sugar beet leafhopper, which transmits curly top of sugar beets. This weeds is common in drier areas and in dryland cultivation systems. It is found in overgrazed rangeland, disturbed waste areas and in wheat, sugarbeets, potatoes, and mint east of the Cascade Mountains.
Russian Thistle Mature Plant


This section contains information on identification of the different life stages of Russian Thistle.  Select Biology and Management from the Contents Menu for more information on the biology and management, or select Registered Herbicides for the herbicides that are registered to control this weed in mint.