This is a small plant -- only about a foot tall, or less. The
leaves are shaped like tiny sausages, with a delicate spine at the tip.
They are filled with a salty-tasting juice containing a toxic oxalate.
This can be poisonous to livestock, especially sheep (which seem to
enjoy eating it when it is available).
The seeds are contained in small papery thin fruits, growing in
the leaf axils along the stems. As they mature, the entire plant
takes on a pinkish color.
The plant is not native to this country. It was introduced in
Nevada in the 1930's, and has spread rapidly all over the western
deserts since then.
by Sandra Bray
Government Creek Cove
Boulder Mountain foothills
Wayne County, Utah