Gamanthus gamocarpus (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Eurotia ewersmanniana
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Gamanthus gamocarpus (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Girgensohnia oppositiflora
Gamanthus gamocarpus
Gamanthus gamocarpus
Gamanthus gamocarpus

Gamanthus gamocarpus (Moq.) Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Спайноцветник спайноплодный - spajnocvetnik spajnoplodnyj
  • Uzbek: Don-ashur, Chetyryk
  • Turkmen: Koydjelyuk

Chromosome number: 2n = 18 (Zahareva 1968; Fedorov 1969; Turner 1994).

Description and morphology: Ephemeral herb (height 3–20 cm), strongly pubescent; evidently ramified at base; lower branches opposite strong, elongated. Leaves: fleshy except lower ones, alternate, thread-linear (15–20 mm long, 1–2 mm wide) with a spine at tip; convex from below, extending to base. Bracts opposite, longer than flower and bracteoles (5–50 mm long). On fruits, bases accreted in a cartilaginous sheath; prickly at tip. Bracteoles hairy, lanceolate, sharply pointed, stipulose shorter than perianth leaflets. Flowers: bisexual; small, sometimes unisexual. Anthers linear (2.5–4.0 mm long), divided into 1–2 or 2–3 with a pale yellow, ovatepin- shaped appendage (2–3 mm long). Pollen grain 3-celled, pentaporate.

Reproduction: Sexual. Anemophilous. Apomixis, parthenocarpy (20–60%). Flowering: May–June. Fruit maturation: July–September. Fruit: large (2.5–3 mm), indehiscent, fleshy, nut-like, ovoid and strongly cartilaginous when ripe. Tepal lobes lanceolate, sharp (pointed) (5–6 mm long); upper forms friable conic cartilaginous. Wings horizontal (10–15 mm in diameter), thin-walled, with an appreciable venation and fringed margins. Seed: small, vertical, ovoid or oblong, flattened with spiral embryo. Dormancy B1–B3 type. Viable seeds: 76–78%. Germination: 12–26%. Seed viability 8–9 months. Long-term stratification (5 °C) for 1–12 months and variable temperatures (light/dark cycles) stimulate germination.

Pastoral importance: Consumed by animals in autumn-winter. Recommended for improvement of takyr and takyr-like soils.

Fodder value: At flowering and fruit stages (% DM): rich in sodium chloride (up to 44); cellulose (up to 30). At end of cycle (% DM): salt content decreases (15), and cellulose increases; considerable quantity of carotin 0.37–1.79 mg/g; negligible protein content. Fodder value estimated at 34 FU and 3.5 kg digestible protein/ 100 kg green forage.

Habitat: Halo-xerophyte. Characteristic plant of clay desert, takyr, slightly saline sandy soils.

Distribution: Southern Middle Asia to Balkash region, Iran and Afghanistan.