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tumbleweed

tumbleweed, any of several plants, particularly abundant in prairie and steppe regions, that commonly break from their roots at maturity and, drying into a rounded tangle of light, stiff branches, roll before the wind, covering long distances and scattering seed as they go. The Russian thistle—Salsola pestifera, of the family Chenopodiaceae (goosefoot family) and not a thistle—is one of the most frequent of the tumbleweeds. Naturalized from Asia, it has become a troublesome pest on Western prairies, although in drought years it may serve as forage in the spring before the spines form. Some other common tumbleweeds, such as Amaranthus albus or A. graecizans, are members of the family Amaranthaceae (amaranth family), naturalized from tropical America and now common weed pests in Western agricultural fields. Others are the hedge mustards (species of Sisymbrium) and several other plants of the goosefoot family, e.g., the winged pigweeds (Cycloloma) and the bugseeds (Corispermum). Tumbleweeds of the family Chenopodiaceae and Amaranthaceae are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Caryophyllales.

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tumbleweed

tum·ble·weed / ˈtəmbəlˌwēd/ • n. a plant of arid regions that breaks off near the ground in late summer, forming light globular masses that are tumbled about by the wind. Its two genera are Salsola of the goosefoot family and Amaranthus of the amaranth family.

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tumbleweed

tumbleweed Plant that characteristically breaks off near the ground in autumn and is rolled along by the wind. Height: to 51cm (20in). Family Amaranthaceae; genus Amaranthus.

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"tumbleweed." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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tumbleweed

tumbleweedaccede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, proceed, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, succeed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed •breastfeed • greenfeed • dripfeed •chickenfeed • spoonfeed • nosebleed •Nibelungenlied • invalid • Ganymede •Runnymede • airspeed • millipede •velocipede • centipede • Siegfried •filigreed • copyread • crossbreed •proofread • flaxseed • hayseed •rapeseed • linseed • pumpkinseed •aniseed • oilseed • birdseed • ragweed •knapweed • seaweed • chickweed •stinkweed • blanket weed • bindweed •pondweed • duckweed • tumbleweed •fireweed • waterweed • silverweed

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Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed

The true tumbleweeds are various species of herbaceous plants in the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae). These are usually annual plants that develop a spherical, bush-shaped biomass. At the end of the growing season when their small seeds are ripe, the tumbleweeds wither and detach from their base and are blown about by winds, scattering their seeds widely over the surface of the ground. Therefore, the tumbling habit of these plants is an adaptation to extensive dispersal of their ripe seeds.

One common species of tumbleweed is Amaranthus graecizans. This annual plant is native to semi-deserts but is now a common weed of recently disturbed land in agricultural and urban areas. This plant has a whitish stem, green leaves, and numerous small, greenish flowers. Amaranthus albus, also known as tumble pigweed, is a closely related tumbleweed.

Other unrelated species of plants also tend to tumble to disperse their seeds. Two examples in the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) are the Russian-thistle or Russian tumbleweed (Salsola kali) and the Russian pigweed (Axyris amaranthoides). These are both introduced species and can be important weeds. The winged pigweed or tumbleweed (Cycloloma atriplicifolium) is a related native species of arid habitats of the West which has also become weedy in open, disturbed habitats. Another species with a tumbling habit is the tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum), in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). Tumble panic-grass (Panicum capillare, family Poaceae) produces a large, bushy inflorescence that often detaches and blows about at the end of the growing season.

The tumbling tumbleweeds have become a romanticized element of the landscape of the American West through the pervasive influence of their images in songs and movies. However, many of these very capable and opportunistic tumbleweeds are also extremely widespread as weeds. As such, the tumbleweeds are taking advantage of many types of disturbed habitats that are created on the landscape by humans and their activities.

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Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed

The true tumbleweeds are various species of herbaceous plants in the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae) . These are usually annual plants that develop a spherical, bush-shaped biomass . At the end of the growing season when their small seeds are ripe, the tumbleweeds wither and detach from their base and are blown about by winds, scattering their seeds widely over the surface of the ground. Therefore, the tumbling habit of these plants is an adaptation to extensive dispersal of their ripe seeds.

One common species of tumbleweed is Amaranthus graecizans. This annual plant is native to semi-deserts but is now a common weed of recently disturbed land in agricultural and urban areas. This plant has a whitish stem, green leaves, and numerous small, greenish flowers. Amaranthus albus, also known as tumble pigweed, is a closely related tumbleweed.

Other unrelated species of plants also tend to tumble to disperse their seeds. Two examples in the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae) are the Russian-thistle or Russian tumbleweed (Salsola kali) and the Russian pigweed (Axyris amaranthoides). These are both introduced species and can be important weeds. The winged pigweed or tumbleweed (Cycloloma atriplicifolium) is a related native species of arid habitats of the West which has also become weedy in open, disturbed habitats. Another species with a tumbling habit is the tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum), in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) . Tumble panic-grass (Panicum capillare, family Poaceae) produces a large, bushy inflorescence that often detaches and blows about at the end of the growing season.

The "tumbling tumbleweeds" have become a romanticized element of the landscape of the American West through the pervasive influence of their images in songs and movies. However, many of these very capable and opportunistic tumbleweeds are also extremely widespread as weeds. As such, the tumbleweeds are taking advantage of many types of disturbed habitats that are created on the landscape by humans and their activities.

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"Tumbleweed." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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