Weed Seed: Zygophyllum fabago (Syrian bean-caper)

Invasive Plant - Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago)

Family

Zygophyllaceae

Common name

Syrian bean-caper

Regulation

Prohibited Noxious, Class 1 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act. All imported and domestic seed must be free of Prohibited Noxious weed seeds.

Listed on the List of Pests Regulated by Canada established under the Plant Protection Act.

Distribution

Canadian: Absent from Canada (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to eastern Europe, the Middle East and central Asia. Introduced to Australia, southern Europe and the western United States (CFIA 2012Footnote 2, 2014Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle

Perennial

Seed or fruit type

Seed

Identification features

Size

  • Seed length: 3.4 - 5.9 mm
  • Seed width: 1.6 - 3.9 mm
  • Seed thickness: 1.0 mm

Shape

  • Ovate to D-shaped seed, strongly compressed

Surface texture

  • Seed surface covered with a bubbled crust

Colour

  • Surface crust is grey to yellowish-white, seed is translucent red

Habitat and crop association

Dry rangelands, grasslands and disturbed areas, including roadsides, corrals and gravel pits (CFIA 2014Footnote 3).

General information

Syrian bean-caper is thought to have been imported into the United States in contaminated alfalfa seed (Davison and Wargo 2001Footnote 4). This species usually spreads by seed, but can also generate new plants from pieces of its roots (CFIA 2014Footnote 3).

Syrian bean-caper prefers dry habitats, especially rangelands, where it out-competes native species (Davison and Wargo 2001Footnote 4).

Similar species

No similar species

Photos

Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seeds
Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seed
Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seed, side view
Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seed, close up of surface
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