We were at a restaurant and on their very large patio between almost every paver were these tiny weed seedlings. Here at EcoTurf, we study weeds but immature ones often do not look like the more easily recognizable adult weeds. I couldn’t rest until I knew what they were. Jordan cracked the code today because we found some bigger versions. Kochia, Kochia, Kochia everywhere. I couldn’t believe how much of it was at that restaurant.
How does Kochia (Kochia scoparia) spread? A single Kochia plant can produce up to 40,000 seeds in one year! Mature Kochia plants become tumbleweeds (though there is more than one type of tumbleweed) which spread their seeds far and wide. If you live in Northern Colorado, you have hit one of these on a windy day and spreading those seeds when you hit it. If you notice the leaves of the plant are very hairy and silvery in color. This is a very invasive species and should be taken care of before they start to seed.
Kochia is not just a rural problem. Here in Windsor you can find tumbleweed growing on residential lots, open spaces and ditches.
Here is an extreme example of Kochia out of control here in Colorado! Click on the link to watch the news video.