During the early 1960s, after aboveground nuclear testing finally ceased at the Nevada Test Site, the first thing said to grow back was Russian thistle. Radioactive Salsola has come tumbling out of the old Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington, where plutonium was manufactured during the Cold War. I half expect to hear someday that Russian thistle has been found on the moon.

George Johnson, “The Weed that Won the West”, National Geographic December 2013. An article about tumbleweeds should not have been as frightening as this was.