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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Kochia (Bassia scoparia)

Description: An annual, profusely bushy and branched weed with fine-textured foliage. Plants are blue-green to gray-green but take on a reddish or purplish coloration later in the season.

Life cycle: Annual

Habitat: Dry-land, crops, pastures, and waste areas.

Flower: Small, green, inconspicuous flowers.

Fruit: Small bladder-like utricles.

Leaf: Simple, sessile, alternate, linear to lanceolate, and hairy to almost smooth, with entire, hairy margins.

Stem: Much-branched, round, often re-tinged, usually with soft hairs above.

The problem is…. animal health. Kochia can accumulate high nitrate concentrations under certain conditions. Caution should be exercised when grazing or feeding harvested hay containing a large amount of Kochia. It has been linked to photosensitivity in livestock as well.