camelthorn USDA PLANTS Symbol: ALMA12
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub
Alhagi maurorum Medik

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Fabales: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Synonym(s): camel thorn
Native Range: S. Russia to Himalaya (REHD); Temp. & trop. Asia, Europe (GRIN);

Appearance
Alhagi maurorum is a perennial shrub that grows 2-3 ft. (0.6-0.9 m) tall. Sharp yellow spines that are actually modified stems are from 1-2 in. (2.5-5 cm) in length.
Foliage
The leaves are alternate, ovate to lanceolate from 0.25-1.25 in. (0.6-3.2 cm) long with smooth margins.
Flowers
The small, pea-like flowers extend from the spines located along the rigid branches. They are produced in June to August. These flowers are brown to maroon in color.
Fruit
Seed pods are constricted between the individual seeds and are tipped with a small beak.
Ecological Threat
Alhagi maurorum is found in arid, agricultural areas and riverbanks of the western U.S. where it has access to water during the growing season. The plant rapidly colonizes an area by producing new plants from its creeping roots. It is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia and was introduced to the United States in the early 1900s as a contaminant in alfalfa seed.

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Fruit(s); Fruit!
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); Many plants with flowers
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Stem(s); Closeup of stems
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); Closeup of flowers
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Thorns
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Thorns!
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Utah)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Wupatki National Monument (Arizona)



Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998