Page author: David Giblin
Bassia hyssopifolia
bassia, fivehorn smotherweed

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains.

Habitat: Noxious weed of waste areas and irrigated farm land.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Erect, simple to freely-branched annual up to 2 m. tall, silky throughout, often reddish-tinged.


Leaves alternate, entire, sessile, linear to linear-lanceolate, 1-4 cm. long and 1-2 mm. wide.


Flowers glomerate in terminal spikes, lateral spikes and axillary clusters; each flower with 1 or 2 small, green-tipped bracts; pistillate and sterile flowers mixed with the perfect flowers; perianth 5-lobed half the length, membranous, 2 mm. broad, completely enclosing the fruit, each of the ovate lobes with a stout, curved to hooked spine up to 2 mm. long; stamens 5, style 1, stigmas 2, elongate.


Fruit flattened, plano-convex

Accepted Name:
Bassia hyssopifolia (Pall.) Kuntze
Publication: Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 547. 1891. 1891.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Echinopsilon hyssopifolium (Pall.) Moq.
Salsola hyssopifolia Pall.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Bassia hyssopifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Bassia hyssopifolia checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Bassia hyssopifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Bassia hyssopifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Bassia hyssopifolia information.

29 photographs:
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