Artemisia turanica (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Artemisia diffusa
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Artemisia turanica (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Carthamus tinctorius
Artemisia turanica

Artemisia turanica H. Krasch.

Local name:

  • Russian: Полынь туранская - polyn' turanskaja
  • Kazakh: Kara-Dzhusan
  • Uzbek: Kora-Dzhusan

Chromosome numbers: 2n = 24, 48 (Hamdamov and Noskova 1987); 2n = 18 (Kawatani and Ohno 1964).

Description and morphology: Small shrub (height 20–50 cm). Woody, thick root strongly ramified, especially on oldest plants. Stem: violet, ascending. Annual autumn stems dark-brown, almost black. Leaves: dark greenish or grey-green, finely dissected into linear segments. Flowers: bisexual, inconspicuous (2.0–2.8 mm), in small axillary clusters (3–5) with yellow corolla. Inflorescence: small, spherical, bright brown.

Reproduction: Sexual and by cutting. Anemophilous but entomophily also admitted. Flowering: September–October. Fruit: achenes small, grey-brown, inverse ovoid with longitudinal ridge.

Pastoral importance: Valuable feed for all livestock mainly in autumn and winter. Younger shoots, heads and leaves are well consumed by cattle. Vegetation begins in February–March, maximum growth in April–May. Green forage production is 0.15–0.3 t/ha on good rangeland, may reach 1.5 t/ha when cultivated in young dense stands. A valuable plant for range rehabilitation and improvement of autumn-winter pastures.

Fodder value: Green forage of A. turanica contains (% DM): crude protein 10.1–19.3; cellulose 12.6– 28.1; carbohydrates up to 27.0; fat 4.3–6.4; various mineral salts (% DM): Na 2.3; Si 1.0; Ca 0.8; K 0.7; Mg 0.7.

Economic value: Aboveground green biomass contains volatile oil used in traditional medicine (tincture from dry leaves is used to induce appetite and for the treatment of gastric complaints).

Habitat: Xerophyte. Often mixed with A. diffusa, pure stands are rare. Well adapted to clay/sandy loamy soils; prefers heavy soils. Sometimes occurs on sandy-gravelly alluvial deposits or stony slopes of foothills.

Distribution: Similar to A. diffusa; widely present in all parts of deserts in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, South Russia, South and northern part of Turanian lowlands to Baluchistan.