Kochia (Kochia scoparia) is an erect, annual forb that is part of the Chenopodiaceae or goosefoot family. K. scoparia forms pyramidal or rounded bushes up to 7 feet tall and roots that can reach a depth of at least 8 feet with a horizontal radius of at least 8 feet. K. scoparia flowers are green and inconspicuous and form short, dense, terminal, bracted spikes. Flowering generally occurs from July to September. Stems are usually yellowish-green to green and often turn red with maturity. K. scoparia fruit are utricle fruits with an oval, brown to black seed.
Toxic components K. scoparia is highly palatable to horses, and has been known to cause poisoning in horses, if consumed in large quantities. K. scoparia contains oxalates, nitrates, alkaloids and saponins. The amount of oxalates in K. scoparia varies depending on the environmental conditions, stage of growth, season, and plant part. Toxicity increases during prolonged rainfall events.