Bassia Species, Common Kochia, Burning Bush, Mexican Fireweed

Bassia scoparia

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Bassia (BASS-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: scoparia (sko-PAIR-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Kochia scoparia



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (yellow-green)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fredonia, Arizona

Aurora, Colorado

Lamar, Colorado

Springfield, Colorado

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Belfield, North Dakota

Washburn, North Dakota

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 9, 2015, Nussa from Minot, ND wrote:

I had planted seeds called Burning Bush, in the Spring of 1977, in Washburn, ND.
I used them to border the sidewalk by my house. They grew beautifully. They stayed a wonderfully green color all Summer. They grew into perfectly shaped little bushes. Mind you we have very short Summers here in ND. Four months at best. And I was very surprised and pleased when the cooler weather came along, and the bushes turned the most beautiful shade of red. That Fall before the Winter snows came, I pulled the bushes out and threw them away. I had no trouble with them growing wild anywhere in my yard the next year.
I would plant them again.


On Jul 4, 2014, pyropixie from Birmingham,
United Kingdom wrote:

Hi I have just brought some kochia scoparia and some websites say they can harm other plants I just wanted to know which plants are ok to plant with them


On Feb 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Native to Eurasia and not to N. America, this is a highly invasive plant, and a difficult weed to control. In North America, it has naturalized in 43 states and 7 provinces. It is banned or quarantined in three states because of the harm it does to the environment. It is especially problematic in the Great Plains states.

It spreads its seeds widely by becoming a tumbleweed.

It has been shown to have allelopathic properties---it poisons the ground and inhibits the growth of other plants.

It is also highly allergenic.


On Aug 17, 2011, nonconformist7 from Aurora, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is an invasive noxious weed. It goes from alive and green to brown and dead and then blows around like a 'tumbleweed' similar to Russian thistle (Salsola kali) spreading its seeds EVERYWHERE.

Kochia is a bushy annual and is one of the fastest-spreading weeds in the U.S. It is very drought tolerant, and can survive and little rainfall. It produces a surprisingly large amount of seeds that are spread through the wind and through other avenues. Livestock eat the plant, although it contains high nitrate levels and can be toxic to in large amounts.

Aside from harsh chemical sprays, there are very little methods of controlling the spread of Koshia beyond preventing the seeds from forming, and uprooting the weeds when young. This plant can cause allergic reac... read more


On Jan 4, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Burning Bush, Summer Cypress, Mexican Fireweed, Belvedere Bassia scoparia is Native to Texas and other States.