Aeluropus litoralis (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Aegilops crassa
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Aeluropus litoralis (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Agropyron desertorum
Aeluropus litoralis
Aeluropus litoralis
Aeluropus litoralis
Aeluropus litoralis


Aeluropus litoralis (Gouan) Parl.

Local name:

  • Russian: Прибрежница солончаковая - pribrežnica solončakovaja
  • Uzbek, Kazakh: Azhrek
  • Turkmen: Zhurajrik, Chair

Chromosome number: 2n = 20 (Avdulov 1933; Litardiere 1950); 2n = 20, 30 (Tarnavschii 1948; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial creeping grass (height 20–60 cm) with prostrate stems. Leaves: 2-row distributed, flat, rough with prickles, often with salt crystals on vegetative parts. Inflorescence: spikes assembled in panicle; spikelets naked, 5–10 flower clusters. Anthers ovate-oblong. Pollen grains 3-celled, orbiculate-oblong, monoporous. Ovule anatropous, crassi-nucellate, bitegmic.

Reproduction: Mainly vegetative (by rootstocks and rhizomes), rarely sexual. Anemophilous. Somatical apospory, nucellar and antipodal embryony. Flowering: April–June. Fruit maturation: end of July. Fruit: indehiscent, monosporous kernel, ovoid-lanceolate form, 3-edged (1.2–1.4 mm), light brown with hulled fruiting body assembled in flower and spike scales. Seed: well differentiated, erect embryo and endosperm. Dormancy B1 type. Viable seed: 67–80%. Light-sensitive. Germination (at variable temperatures): 38–74%. Short-term stratification at variable temperatures (5–10 °C/28 °C) effective. Seed longevity 8–9 years.

Pastoral value: One of the basic forages of saltmarshes in arid and semi-arid ranges. Well consumed by camels, cattle and horses all year round; used by sheep and goats in early autumn-winter. Expected yield on salt-crusted solonetz-alkaline soils is about 0.2 t DM/ha. On saline meadows and wet salt-marshes (solonchak-alkaline soils) yield is about 0.10–0.12 t DM/ha, and about 0.4 t DM/ha in favourable years. Used for haymaking and may yield up to 2–4 t DM/ha).

Fodder value: At flowering contains (% DM): crude protein 17; ash 13; cellulose 19; fat 2.9; nitrogen-free extract 39. At fruit stage contains (% DM): crude protein 9; ash 10; cellulose 31; fat 1.9; nitrogen-free extract 46. In seeds (% DM): protein 9; ash 10; cellulose 32; fat 2.6; nitrogen-free extract 51. Forage value about 31 FU and 1.7 kg digestible protein/100 kg DM.

Habitat: True halophyte. Hygrophyte. Occurs on salt-marshes (solonchak-alkaline) and crusty solonetz-alkaline soil in arid and semi-arid ranges, on lake shores, tugaï, saline deserts, depressions and takyr, growing in communities with species of Suaeda, Climacoptera, Tamarix, Phragmites and Salsola. Also found as a weed in salt-affected cultivated areas or waste ground. A good indicator of a high water table (depth 1–2 m).

Distribution: Middle Asia, southern Russia, West Siberia, Caucasus, Iran, India, China and Mediterranean region.