Mono Basin and Hot Creek Area

Russian Thistle (Salsola kali) is a tumbleweed native to Eurasia. It arrived here with a cargo of flaxseed in 1886 and quickly spread. In the summer the stems are green and purple striped. After the seeds mature in late autumn, the plant stem separates from the root, becoming “tumbleweed”. The plant is then blown by wind. Seeds fall to the ground as the plant tumbles, and further dispersal is accomplished when wind scatters the winged seeds.