Eminium lehmannii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Ferula assa-foetida
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Eminium lehmannii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Achillea nobilis
Eminium lehmannii

Eminium lehmannii (Bge) O. Ktze

Local name:

  • Russian: Эминиум Лемана - èminium Lemana
  • Turmen: Karyn, Yaryk

Chromosome numbers: n = 20 (Wanscher 1934; Grant 1982).

Description and morphology: Perennial ephemeroid plant (height up to 40 cm), tubercle bulbous (2 cm diameter), flattened, spherical, 15–30 cm deep in soil. Stem: embraced by leaf sheath and by membranous cover. Leaves: large, mainly distributed around root, oblong or lancet-shaped, margin curly, often arrow-like on long rolled leaf stalk penetrating the soil. Flowers: bisexual, rarely unisexual; 4–6 stamens, seldom 8, arranged in two circles. Inflorescence: thick spadix with blackviolet or bright red, velvety sheath with a strong smell.

Reproduction: Flowering: end of March - beginning of April. Fruit maturation: April. Fruit: white, berry-like, dries and disappears after fruit maturation.

Pastoral importance: Poisonous; not touched by livestock. Tubercle contains alkaloid saponin (up to 30%), used in traditional pharmacology as a treatment for rheumatism. Hunters use plant to poison meat as bait for wolves and foxes, crushed and dried tubercles used as a flour.

Habitat: Grows as single plants, sparsely distributed on sandy deserts of the Kyzylkum and Karakum.

Distribution: Steppe of whole Middle and Central Asia.