Microcephala lamellata (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Mausolea eriocarpa
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Microcephala lamellata (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Scorzonera gageoides
Microcephala lamellata
Microcephala lamellata

Microcephala lamellata (Bge) Pobed.

Local name:

  • Turkmen: Moychechak, Tat-Bashi, Chopan, Tel’pek

Chromosome number: n = 9, 10 (Darlington and Wylie 1955; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial herb (height 15–35 cm). Stem: ramified from base, strongly pubescent with long whitish hairs. Leaves: oblong, pinnate and lobed (1–3 mm long, 5–10 wide) on short woolly pedicel. Flowers: bisexual; small, assembled in whiteyellow, conic with naked solitary capitule (5–15 mm diameter). Heterogamous, ligulae white; tubulus yellow, pentamerous (2.5– 3.0 mm long).

Reproduction: Sexual. Typical entomophilous plant. Flowering: May–July. Fruit maturation: July–September. Fruit: achene, small, white, flattened on lateral sides (1.0–1.5 mm long, 0.2–0.5 wide) with 4–6 ribs, covered by dense small scales. Seed: small (about 1 mm long), fusiform, brown, large embryo without endosperm. Dormancy B1 type. Light-sensitive, 1 month (5–20 °C) under natural light gives about 100% germination.

Pastoral importance: In spring, well consumed by sheep, goats and camels. Does not give an unpleasant smell and colour to milk as do other close genera such as Matricaria spp.

Fodder value: At end of vegetative growth period contains (% DM): ash 24–26; crude protein 10.5–11.2; fat 4.2-4.5; cellulose 28–30; nitrogen-free extract 26–28.

Habitat: Occurs in desert-steppe zone of foothills, on well-fixed sand, as a weed in cultivated fields, also on gravel along river banks.

Distribution: Widely distributed in Central Asia and Kazakhstan.