NOT KNOWN TO OCCUR IN OREGON PLEASE CALL 1-866-INVADER IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE FOUND THIS SPECIES
USDA Symbol: ALMA12
ODA rating: A
Camelthorn risk assessment
Noxious weed listing process
Other common names
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Images by Dan Sharratt, Oregon Department of Agriculture.
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
Perennial; flowers June to July. Grows 1 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Stems greenish with slender spines 1/4 to 1 3/4 inches long. Leaves wedge-shaped, hairless on the upper surface, 1/4 to 1 1/4 inches long. Flowers small, pea-like, pinkish purple to maroon, occur on short, spine-tipped branches along the upper portion of the plant. Reddish-brown jointed seed pods curved upward, deeply indented with each seed clearly outlined in the pod.
This plant grows well on dry or moist sites and is reported to spread rapidly along streams and canals. Camelthorn is strongly competitive with other plants. Its rapid and aggressive growth allows it to out compete both native vegetation and cultivated crops. Because of its rhizomatic growth habit, dense stands may form that are impenetrable because of its spiny stems. It is especially troublesome in cereal and horticultural croplands, where repeated cultivation aids its spread.
Camelthorn is unpalatable to most livestock and is also a potential contaminant for alfalfa seed crops.
Camelthorn is a native of the Turanian Desert and the Iranian Plateau. The common name is derived from the high affinity that camels have for eating the plant in its native range. It was introduced to the United States in 1915 in shipments of alfalfa seed from Turkestan and in camel dung packing around date palm offshoots.
Distribution in Oregon
Not currently known to exist in Oregon.
No approved biological control agents are available.