Astragalus agameticus (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Ammothamnus lehmannii
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Astragalus agameticus (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Astragalus alopecias
Astragalus agameticus
Astragalus agameticus
Astragalus agameticus

Astragalus agameticus Lipsky.

Local name:

  • Russian: Астрагал агаметский - astragal agametskij
  • Uzbek: Singren

Chromosome number: 2n = 16, 32 (Ledingham and Fahselt 1964; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial (sometimes ephemeroid) prolific herb (height 55– 95 cm), highly pubescent. Life span 7–2 years. Pivotal root system to depth 1.5 m. Stem: herbaceous annual, adpressed, hirsute, erect, much branched from base. Leaves: (4–8 cm), alternate, pari or imparipinnate; leaflets ovateelliptic (0.8–2.7 cm long, 0.6–1.4 cm wide), adpressed, white, hairy both surfaces; stipules conspicuous, free or adnate to petiole. Inflorescence: spherical or ovoid-oblong, terminal, sessile or short pedunculate spike (about 5–7 cm diameter) in panicle; receptacle flat and naked. Flowers: bisexual; tubular, surrounded by overlapping scarious-edged bracts. Corolla large, pale yellow; wings and keel usually shorter; 10 stamens (9 accreted and 1 free); anthers ovate-oblong, tetrahedral without appendage. Pollen grain obovoid-oviform, 2-celled. Ovary superior with 9–12 anatropous, bitegmic, crassi-nucellate ovules. Vegetative growth cycle 105 days.

Reproduction: Sexual. Entomophilous. Flowering: April–May. Fruit maturation: June– beginning of August. Fruit: dry woody, dehiscent into two valves, polyspermous lengthened, long (1.5–2.5 cm long, 0.5–0.8 cm wide), woolly throughout pod, ovoid-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, slightly curved. Seed: large, ovate-orbicular or globose, pale green or yellow with large, chlorophytic embryo. Seed coat unshiny, smooth with small reticulations. Hardseededness over 92%. Dormancy Af type. Viable seed: 86–94%. Field germination: poor 7–14%; laboratory germination: 9–18%. Long-term stratification (28 °C) for 2.5 months together with mechanical scarification and treatment with sulphuric acid concentrate (30 minutes or 1 hour, followed by immersion in solution of KMnO4) stimulate germination. Seed viability 2–4 years.

Pastoral importance: Inflorescence and fruit well consumed by all livestock. Good value for Karakul sheep, small ruminants and camels, especially in spring and early autumn. Expected yield (foothills/adyr) on native pasture is about 0.85–1.06 t DM/ha, when cultivated 0.59–2.16 t DM/ha. Seed production is 1.6– 6.9 g/shrub. Potential for making hay and silage during the flowering stage.

Fodder value: (% DM): crude protein 22; fat 3.4; nitrogen-free extract 36; cellulose 30; ash 8.0. Fodder value estimated at 70 FU and about 8 kg digestible protein/100 kg DM.

Economic interest: Forage, medicinal, honey production, haymaking and soil improvement. Often used in seed mixtures for the restoration and improvement of range and/or the creation of permanent pastures in semi-desert foothill areas.

Habitat: Meso-xerophyte. Present mostly on heavy clay loamy or sand-loamy soils in semidesert foothills and/or flats and plains.

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia.