Atraphaxis spinosa (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Stipa hohenackeriana
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Atraphaxis spinosa (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Calligonum arborescens
Atraphaxis spinosa
Atraphaxis spinosa
Atraphaxis sp. along Chu river in Moyunkum (Kazakhstan)
Atraphaxis sp. along Chu river in Moyunkum (Kazakhstan)

Atraphaxis spinosa L.

Local name:

  • Russian: Курчавка колючая, туясингрен - kurčavka koljučaja, tujasingren
  • Uzbek: Tuyansyngren, Tue-Synyr

Chromosome number: 2n = 28, 56 (Wulff 1938; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial shrub (height 30–80 cm) with strongly filamentous trunk and prickly branches. Crown has dark red-greyish laciniate bark. Stem: branches linear, slender, twisting, spiny at the end. Leaves: grey (3–5 mm long, 3–4 mm wide), orbicular, elliptic or ovoid, blunt at tip or with short edge, entire, glabrous on both surfaces. Flowers: bisexual; small, regular, on short generative stems; assembled in clusters by 2–6 or racemiform inflorescence. Perianth segments bright pink with white margins.

Reproduction: Sexual. Flowering: April–May. Fruit maturation: June–July. Fruit: flat nut, ovate, narrowed, bright brown or yellowish-green, smooth, brilliant.

Pastoral importance: Not readily grazed as strong woody spines prevent livestock from reaching short new shoots. Leaves and young stems before flowering eaten by all kinds of livestock, especially camels.

Habitat: Psammo-petrophyte. Usually grows as single plants on rocky-stony barren slopes, alluvial and colluvial deposits on dry river beds, sometimes on slightly saline soils.

Distribution: Central Asia (Aral, Balkhash regions, Kyzylkum, Karakum, Pamir-Alai and Tien Shan and Kopetdag), southern-east European part of Russia, western Siberia, West Asia and Iran.