Alhagi maurourum

Alhagi maurourum

Alhagi maurourum

Alhagi maurourum

Flower photo courtesy of Max Licher.

Alhagi maurourum

Alhagi maurourum (Camelthorn)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Semi-desert. Openings, shrublands. Spring, summer.
Above and left: Lower Butler Wash, Utah, October 31, 2018 and April, 12, 2021.

Alhagi maurourum is native to Eurasia, but has been introduced on several continents. In the U.S. it is known only in the western states. In the area covered by this website it is especially known along the San Juan River in Utah where it has spread into side canyons.

Alhagi maurourum grows in masses, is hard to eradicate, and has become a dominant invasive plant in some areas.

Alhagi maurourum

Alhagi grows to over three feet tall with many branching stems and it spreads widely from strong rhizomes. Dried stems persist in masses, as the second photograph at the top of the page shows. New growth appears in mid-April and the plant flowers from late May through the summer.

Leaves are entire (not divided as most Pea leaves are), elliptical, and light green.

Thorns are common throughout the plant and even are found at the end of the flowering stem, as shown in the photograph at left. Pods are numerous and distinctively constricted.

In the 18th century Abraham Gagnebin named the genus Alhagi, which is from the Arabic, "al-hajji", "pilgrim". Friedrich Medikus named the species shortly after Gagnebin named the genus.


Click for more details about Alhagi.


Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Questionable presence

Alhagi maurourum

Range map for Alhagi maurourum