Native to western North America, but now widespread as a common weed throughout the U.S. with the exception of the extreme northern states.
An annual weed reproducing from seed. Mature plants are prostrate, forming thick mats up to 2 feet across. It is a pest problem in cultivated crops, landscape, as well as roadside and empty lots.
Mature plants have thick, fleshy stems that grow prostrate, turning up at the tips. Stems are smooth and are green to reddish purple, with major stems arising from the base, and numerous side stems coming off of these.
Leaves are often crowded in thicker groups at the tips of the stems. Leaves are smooth and small, only up to ¾ inch long, and are green but often with lighter patches on the upper surface and a reddish tint below.
Flowers grow in very small clusters arising at the leaf stalks. They are tiny, green, and with three spiny bracts at the base of each flower.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Annual weeds that occur in turf or crops, and prefer coarse, sandy soils.