Cousinia dichotoma (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Centaurea squarrosa
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Cousinia dichotoma (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Cousinia minuta
Cousinia dichotoma

Cousinia dichotoma Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Кузиния развилистая - kuzinija razvilistaja
  • Uzbek: Karragi

Chromosome number: n = 9 (Darlington and Wylie 1955).

Description and morphology: Annual herb (height 10–25 cm). Stem: thin erect, dichotomous branched, covered by multicellular hairs. Branches and branchlets end in uniglomerule. Leaves: sessile, adpressed to half-stem, oval, spiny and dentate on margins, covered on both sides by scattered hairs.

Inflorescence: capitule (5–6 mm) spineless. Leaflets of involucre are glandular and not numerous (5–8 mm long); lanceolate, pointed in thin spikes. Sets of receptacle white, smooth; internal pink without glands. Growth starts in early spring. Reproduction: Sexual. Entomophilous. Flowering and fruit maturation: June–July.

Pastoral importance: Poor contribution to total biomass. Insignificant value. Generally not much consumed by any animals due to the presence of prickly-furry and rough leaves. However, it is eaten by sheep during flowering and, exceptionally in wet weather in autumn and winter, grazed by cattle and camels.

Habitat: Occurs on sandy soils of deserts, in plain/semi-desert areas mixed with Alhagi plant communities, as well as on sandy gravelly soils of the hills of the adyr.

Distribution: Endemic. Central Asia (Kyzylkum and Amu-Darya).