Ceratocephalus falcatus (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Tortula desertorum
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Ceratocephalus falcatus (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Delphinium bucharicum
Ceratocephalus falcatus
Ceratocephalus falcatus
Ceratocephalus falcatus in Moyunkum (Kazakhstan)


Ceratocephalus falcatus (L.) Pers.

Local name:

  • Russian: Рогоглавник серповидный - rogoglavnik serpovidnyj
  • Tadjik: Cherrikh
  • Turkmen: Cherrikh, Kuydjule

Chromosome number: 2n = 14 (Titova 1935).

Description and morphology: Dwarf early spring ephemeral (height up to 8–10 cm). Leaves: divided into linear segments. Flowers: bisexual; pentamerous, pale yellow. Nectariferous. Vegetative growth begins at end February - early March. Looks very much like a typical Ranunculus sp.

Reproduction: Sexual. Fruit maturation: end of April. Fruit: spike-like head with numerous achenes; erect, lunate, bent at the end into sickle-shaped nose. Seed: small embryo, surrounded by tough endosperm. Dormancy B–V1 type. Light-sensitive. Poor germination when freshly collected. Dry storage for more than 6 months and cold stratification increase germination up to 80%.

Pastoral importance: Poisonous during green stage and flowering. Grazed when dry. Expected biomass in good year is about 50– 80 kg DM/ha. The plant contains alkaloids (anemonin and prote-anemonin), resins and organic acids and may be used (especially after flowering) in the preparation of ointment to treat skin diseases.

Fodder value: Poor, negligible.

Habitat: Meso-xerophyte. Widespread on fixed sand around and under bushes on rangeland, on sandy-gravelly loam, clay and loamy foothills arid soil. Common in Poa-Carex plant communities. Common weed in cultivation.

Distribution: Central and Middle Asia (Irano-Turanian region) and Mediterranean region.