Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness
Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department
of Natural Sciences
Kochia scoparia (Linnaeus) Roth
(Summer Cypress, Mexican Fireweed, Kochia)
Bassia sieversiana (Pallas) W.A. Weber
Kochia sieversiana (Pallas) C.A. Meyer
Kochia scoparia is found along roadsides and in disturbed areas in lower to middle elevations. It grows erect and branched. The stems turn red as the summer advances. It is generally considered an undesirable weed, although it was apparently first introduced as an ornamental. Kochia scoparia is an annual. The flowers occur in axillary clusters and develop into a fruit called a "utricle." Martin & Hutchins define a utricle as "a one-seeded fruit with a thin pericarp, the seed not attached to the wall." The utricles of Kochia scoparia have five small wings.
Please click on an image for a larger file.
Kochia scoparia, photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., Saddlerock Road, Aug. 15, 2007
Kochia scoparia, 1x macro of utricles, photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., Saddlerock Road, Jan. 4, 2009
Kochia scoparia, 2x macro of utricles, photo Russ Kleinman, Burro Mtns., Saddlerock Road, Jan. 4, 2009
Kochia scoparia, macro of flowers and leaves, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Silver City near Scott Park, Aug. 7, 2009
Kochia scoparia, macro of sepals maturing into small wings, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Silver City near Scott Park, September 23, 2009
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