Species: Salsola kali
Salsola kali L.
* Species Plantarum 1:222. 1753
* USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 
Ελληνικά, Κυπριακά: Αντρούκλιαστος
English: Prickly saltwort, Russian thistle
Salsola kali (commonly known as Prickly Saltwort, Russian Thistle, or Prickly Glasswort) is an annual plant that grows in arid soils and in sandy coastal soils. Its original range is Eurasian, but it has become naturalized, and even invasive, in North America, Australia, and elsewhere. The dried plant can detach and become a tumbleweed.
Alkali and soda ash
Soda ash extracted from the ashes of Salsola kali contains as much as 30% sodium carbonate; sodium carbonate is one of the alkali materials essential to making glass, soap, and many other commodites. The word alkali derives from the Arabic al qaly, or "from Kali." Salsola soda, Salsola kali, Halogeton sativus, and other saltwort and glasswort plants were an important source of soda ash until the early 19th century. In Spain, the saltwort plants were called barrilla, and were the basis of a large 18th century barilla industry. In the early 19th century, plant sources were supplanted by synthetic soda ash produced using the Leblanc process.
1. ^ Mosyakin, Sergei L. (2007). "Salsola kali," in Flora of North America: North of Mexico Volume 4: Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1, Editorial Committee of the Flora of North America (Oxford University Press, 2004). ISBN 978-0195173895. Online versions retrieved May 23, 2007.
2. ^ Morisawa, TunyaLee (2000). ""Weed Notes: Salsola kali," (Nature Conservancy, 2000). Online version retrieved May 23, 2007.