Haloxylon persicum (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Haloxylon aphyllum
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Haloxylon persicum (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Kochia prostrata
Haloxylon persicum
Haloxylon persicum
Haloxylon persicum
Haloxylon persicum
Sand dunes in Central Kyzylkum (covered with Haloxylon persicum, Calligonum sp., Ammodendron conollyi

Haloxylon persicum Bge ex Boiss. et Buhse

Local name:

  • Russian: Саксаул белый, саксаул песчаный - saksaul belyj, saksaul pesčanyj
  • Uzbek: Ak-Sazak, Ok-Saksovul
  • Turkmen: Ak-Sazak

Chromosome number: 2n = 18, 22 (Baquar et al. 1966; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: ‘White Saxaoul’. Large bush, often solitary, less often small tree (height 2.5–5 m) with short curved trunk and light-grey bark. Life span is up to 30–40 years. Tap root system penetrates deeply to depth 6–8 m. Stem: richly branched, glabrous, articulate, fleshy, light green, annually partially slender; wood fragile. Leaves: in comparison with H. aphyllum scale-like (0.5–1.25 mm), acute, connate into a cup or sharp ears with a tuft of short hairs at the axil. Flowers: on short spicate branchlets. Morphology and phenology similar to Haloxylon aphyllum, except growth of H. persicum starts 7–12 days earlier than H. aphyllum.

Pastoral importance: Valuable forage, similar to H. aphyllum. Forage yield 0.8–1.2 t/ha. Assimilative stems and fruits are a valuable calorific food for sheep, camels and goats. Palatability of H. persicum identical to H. aphyllum, but is much better grazing for camels. Harvested for fuelwood.

Fodder value: New shoots contain (% DM): crude protein 2.7–9.8; cellulose 12–26; citric acid 1.2–1.7 g/kg; K 10.8–36.3 g/kg; Ca 25.0–47.7 g/kg; Mg 13.8–22.0 g/kg; carotin 56–87 mg/kg. Fodder value about 52 FU and 5.3–7.6 kg digestible protein/100 kg DM. Lower ash content that A. aphyllum.

Habitat: Psammophyte; phreatophyte. Occurs on fixed or mobile sandy dunes of Karakum, Kyzylkum, Moyunkum and Balkash regions. Able to use saline high water table. Also grows on gypseous soils.

Distribution: Middle Asia, Iran, Afghanistan and northern China. Extends to southern Jordan, Sinai and desert of Saudi Arabia. Introduced into North Africa (Libya).