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The plant that produces these tiny flowers is well known from movies and television shows. What is it?

Answer:

This is Russian Thistle, also known as a Tumbleweed. In spite of the movies, they are not native to the U.S. They were introduced in the late 1800's, and are so well adapted for this climate that they are widespread in many areas, including the acres around our new home. The tiny flowers are pretty, but the spines make them unpleasant to have around.
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