Acanthophyllum borszczowii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Capparis spinosa
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Acanthophyllum borszczowii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Holosteum umbellatum
Acanthophyllum borszczowii
Acanthophyllum borszczowii
Acanthophyllum borszczowii + Cousina resinosa (degraded rangeland)
Acanthophyllum pungens
Acanthophyllum pungens
Acanthophyllum pungens


Acanthophyllum borszczowii Litv.

Local name:

  • Russian: Kолючелистник колючий - koljučelistnik koljučij
  • Uzbek: At-Ken, Bigizsimon, Buritikan

Chromosome number: n = 15 (Turner 1994).

Description and morphology: Perennial, small shrub (height 15–30 cm), low-growing, tufted, cushion-like, perfectly hemispherical. Reproductive stem: erect, spreading from base. Vertical, pivotal type root, thick (5–15 mm). Leaves: alternate (sometimes whorled), narrowlinear or awl-shaped spiniform (12–18 mm long, 0.8–1.5 wide). Flowers: bisexual; prickly, sessile, pink-violet or pink-reddish with strong spinulate bracts; 5 petals, 20 stamens. Inflorescence: in terminal, three times ramified compact corymb heads (2–6 cm wide). Ovary unilocular with 4–8 ovules. Capsule ovoid dehiscing by 4 valves.

Reproduction: Flowering: April–May. Fruit maturation: May–June.

Pastoral importance: Not eaten by most livestock except camels. Used as fuelwood for cooking.

Habitat: Occurs on rocky-gravelly rangeland, frequently found on limestone slopes and fixed sandy soil.

Distribution: Central Asia (Kyzylkum, Karakum, Amu-Darya valley, Pamir-Alai, Caucasus, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia).

Other: Acanthophyllum sp.