Kochia (Kochia scoparia)
Kochia is a summer annual – seedlings emerge in early spring. It has inconspicuous flowers that form spikes in leaf axils. The leaves are grayish in color, are smooth on top and hairy on the bottom. Kochia can grow from 1 to 6 feet tall with numerous branches. Seeds last less than one year and disperse through a “tumbleweed” process. After the plant has reached the end of its lifecycle, with strong winds it can break off at the base of the stem and form into a tumbleweed. The tumbleweed is easily blown around and usually ends up in fencerows, roadsides, etc, spreading seed on the way.
Kochia prefers disturbed and overgrazed sites, and is typically not a problem where healthy stands of perennial grasses exist.