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Tetracme quadricornis (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

Malcolmia grandiflora
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Tetracme quadricornis (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Capparis spinosa
Tetracme quadricornis
Tetracme quadricornis


Tetracme quadricornis (Willd.) Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Четверозубец четырехрогий - četverozubec četyrehrogij
  • Turkmen: Chemyr

Description and morphology: Annual ephemeral herb (5–20 cm). Stem: prostrate and weakly ramified at base, covered by numerous fine hairs. Leaves: linear or lancet-shapedlinear (1.5–5.0 cm long, 1.5–4.0 mm wide), sessile, short, pointed at end, rarely slightly dentate on the margins. Flowers: bisexual; small, terminal, assembled into short spike. Petals oblong-inverse-oviform, narrow towards the base, white-yellowish.

Reproduction: Entomophilous. Flowering: April–May. Fruit: polyspermous, flattened tetrahedral with 4 short, divergent small horns, pedunculate silique (1.0–1.5 cm long, 1.0 mm wide). Seed: small (1.0 mm long, 0.5 mm wide), ovoid with curved embryo, no endosperm. Light-sensitive. Seeds germinate slowly at 5–15 °C; only 30% germination after 2.5 months in dry storage. Pastoral importance: Readily eaten by all livestock.

Habitat: Occurs mainly on salt marshes (solonchak-alkaline soils), and sandy and stony soils. Grows as individual plant or often in small patches.

Distribution: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, southwestern European part of Russia and western China.