Jul 3, 200608:00 AMThe Life
Desert flora: tumbleweed
Jul 3, 2006 - 08:00 AMA tumbleweed [click thumbnail photo to enlarge] could be any of several plants, abundant in this area, that commonly break from their roots at maturity. They dry into rounded tangles of light, stiff branches and roll in the wind, covering long distances and scattering seed as they go. Tumbleweeds have become troublesome pests here in the desert southwest.
Russian thistles (in the goosefoot family, and not really thistles) arrived on our shores from Asia, and are some of the most frequent tumbleweeds. Many common tumbleweeds are in the amaranth family, originally from tropical America. Others might include hedge mustards and several additional members of the goosefoot family, like bugseeds and winged pigweeds.
I'm a roaming cowboy, riding all day long
Tumbleweeds around me sing their lonely song.
Nights underneath a prairie moon,
I ride alone and sing a tune. [...]
I know when night has gone that a new world's born at morn,
I'll keep rolling along,
Deep in my heart is a song,
Here on the range I belong,
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
Tumbling Tumbleweeds by Bob Nolan, Sons of the Pioneers