Cousinia resinosa (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Cousinia minuta
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Cousinia resinosa (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Epilasia hemilasia
Cousinia resinosa
Cousinia resinosa
Feed processing plant in Karnab-Tym – stack of Cousinia resinosa (front) and Alhagi pseudalhagi (back), ground for winter feed

Cousinia resinosa Juz.

Local name:

  • Russian: кузиния смолистая - kuzinija smolistaja
  • Uzbek: Karrak

Chromosome number: 2n = 18, 36 (Chuksanova et al. 1968b; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Monocarpic, biennial herb (height up to 75 cm). Woody pivotal root. Stem: pubescent, erect, ramified at the top. Leaves: large, white-green, simple, petiolate, oblong-lanceolate, finely striated, sharply toothed and prickly on the margins. All plant’s organs are densely covered with sharp spines. Flowers: bisexual; regular, pentamerous, 5 stamens attached to corolla tube, anthers fused into staminal tube. Pollen grain 3-celled. Ovary inferior with unitegmic, anatropous, tenui-nucellate ovule. Inflorescence: terminal oviform numerous capitulum (18– 23 mm long, 7–8 mm wide) with imbricate bracts and flat, naked receptacles; disk florets pale pink. Pappus short with bristly hairs. Matures over 2–3 months before flowering.

Reproduction: Sexual. Cross-pollinated, entomophilous plant, rarely self-pollinated. Heterospermy, apomixis and parthenocarpy. Flowering: 1–2 weeks in June. Fruit maturation: July–August. Fruit: achene, dry, indehiscent, monospermous, fine holed, reverse-ovoid and pointed at the end (4.5 mm long, 2.0 mm wide). Pericarp membranous, flat, smooth. Seed: large, erect embryo without endosperm. Dormancy B1 type. Light-sensitive. Laboratory germination: 72–84%; up to 90% germination with 20 °C (16 hours) or 30 °C (8 hours) treatment. Seeds transported by wind and animals.

Pastoral importance: A common thistle, often occurs close to camps and housing as a sign of degradation or on abandoned cultivated cereal fields; a permanent component of rangelands of the adyr of Central Asia. Rarely grazed directly except by desperate camels and cattle; usually harvested for silage and winter feed. The average expected yield is 0.6–0.7 t/ha; on improved Artemisia-ephemeroid rangelands, biomass reaches 1.0–1.5 t/ha. Haymaking and silage is carried out at the flower bud stage (end of May–June). Harvested when dry, it is then stored on the roof of barns or sheep sheds (‘Koshar’, ‘Kashara’), then chopped and fed as concentrate to livestock during the winter. Spines are broken during processing by chopping. Industrially harvested and processed as concentrate on farms in Karnab-Tym.

Fodder value: At the vegetative green stage contains (% DM): crude protein 5.8; fat 3.4; cellulose 45; ash 6.9; nitrogen-free extract 30. In dry conditions contains (% DM): protein 6.8; fat 4.9; cellulose 49; ash 6.5; nitrogen-free extract 15.8.

Habitat: Xero-mesophyte. Occurs on semidesert foothills and plains, alluvial deposits; fallow fields, usually on calcareous loamy and/or gravelly soils.

Distribution: Middle Asia (western Tien Shan, Pamir-Alai) and southern Kazakhstan.