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halogeton (halogeton glomeratus)
ODA rating: B
Oregon halogeton distribution
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Image courtesy of Rich Old, XID Services
Image courtesy of Steve Schoenig

Image courtesy of Steve Schoenig
If images are downloaded and used from the ODA web site please be sure to credit the photographer.
Annual; blooms July to September. Grows a few inches to 1 1/2 feet tall. Main stems branch from the base, spreading at first and then becoming erect. Plants blue-green in spring and early summer, turning red or yellow by late summer. Leaves small, fleshy, nearly tubular and tipped with a needle-like spine. Flowers inconspicuous and borne in the leaf axils.
Halogeton is native to Asia with a wide distribution throughout the western United States. It thrives in dry alkaline rangelands as well as waste ground and roadsides, and is poisonous to livestock. Sheep appear to be one of the main dispersal agents of the plant and are often victims of its poison though they avoid it if other feed is available. Late in its growth stage it can break off and tumble across the landscape, spreading seeds as it rolls.
Known hazards
Halogeton glomeratus is toxic to cattle and sheep.  Most losses occur when hungry or thirsty animals are allowed to consume large amounts of this succulent plant. The toxic substance in halogeton is soluble sodium oxalate and is found in fresh and dried plants.  The toxic dose is 0.3 to 0.5% of the animal's body weight when consumed over a short period of time. 
The first observance of this plant in the United States was near Wells Nevada in 1934.  The first recorded siting in Oregon was near Rome in 1959.  Halogeton now covers millions of acres across the states.
Distribution in Oregon

Biological controls
No approved biological agent available