Fabaceae (Pea family)
Class B-Designate Noxious Weed
Camelthorn was introduced into the United States from Asia and is now found in Washington and the southwestern U.S.
This spiny, intricately branched perennial shrub grows up to 4 feet tall. It favors deep moist soil and can develop vertical roots that may extend 6 to 7 feet into the ground where it taps moisture, allowing it to thrive on dry sites.
On moist sites, camelthorn can spread rapidly and become a major problem along streams and canals. Camelthorn spines are injurious to livestock and wildlife. The species is also a potential alfalfa seed contaminant. In cropping systems, camelthorn is difficult to control because of its extensive root system.
There is only one known camelthorn infestation in Franklin County, which makes an eradication program feasible. If you find this weed in Franklin County, please notify the weed board.
Download our printable PDF with more information about camelthorn and best management practices for controlling it.
Camelthorn flowers are pea-like, occurring clusters on the upper portion of the shrub.
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