Salsola collina Pall. - Slender Russian Thistle.


Family Chenopodiaceae Vent., Genus Salsola L.

Biology type.

Spring annual.

Morphology and biology.

Plant is 10-100 cm high, densely covered with setaceous hairs. Stem has longitudinal reddish stripes and is branched from the base. Leaves are alternate, filamentous, half-cylindrical, covered with short setae, with gristly seta on the top, and widened at the base. Bracts are shorter, subulate, with heavily-widened bases, pressed to the axis of inflorescence. Spike-like inflorescence is formed by one to two flowers, situated in leaf or bract axils. Perianth is separated into 5 segments. At the end of flowering lower parts of perianth accrete to bracts, solidify, and form easy falling gall-like glomerule. Salsola collina flowers from June until September. Seeds are widely cone-shaped with round base, about 2 mm in diameter, pale, glabrous, with sharply emerged embryo. Stem has bristling branches and as a result is widely dispersed by strong winds.

Geographical range.

European part of the Former Soviet Union, Western Siberia (semi-desert and steppe zones), Eastern Siberia, Far East. General distribution: Mongolia, North Korea, north and north-east China.


Drought resistant and salt tolerant plant. Growing in the fields it is not connected with any specific agricultural crop. Its fruits easily shatter and infest the soil.

Economic value.

In natural habitats Salsola collina is found in saline lands of dry steppes and in alluvial sands. In the South it serves as forage for camels. Weed in agricultural crops, in abandoned fields, also in ruderal places. Control measures: skim and autumn plowing.

Reference citations.

Golubintseva V.P. 1936. The specific weeds of Siberia. In: Reverdatto V.V., ed. Transactions of Biological Institute of Tomsk State University. V. 2. Tomsk: Tomsk State University. 170-227 p.
Keller B.A., ed. 1934. Weed plants of the USSR. Leningrad: Ac. Sc. USSR. V. 2: 100-101.
Komarov, V.L. & B.K. Shiskkin, ed. 1936. Flora of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Ac. Sc. USSR. V.6: 48.
Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weeds in the flora of USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. 166 p.
Ulyanova T.N. 1998. Weeds in the flora of Russia and other FSU states. Saint Petersburg: VIR. 215 p.
Volkov A.N., ed. 1935. The regions of the distribution of the main weeds in the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Publishing House of Kolchoz & Sovchoz Literature. 153 p.

© S.Yu. Larina.

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