Halimodendron halodendron (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Glycyrrhiza glabra
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Halimodendron halodendron (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Psoralea drupacea
Halimodendron halodendron along ‘CHU’ river in Moyunkum (Kazakhstan)
Halimodendron halodendron
Halimodendron halodendron
Halimodendron halodendron

Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss.

Local name:

  • Russian: Чемыш серебристый - čemyš serebristyj
  • Uzbek: Shengel, Dzhingil, Koyan-suek, Chingil

Chromosome number: 2n = 16 (Chekhov 1935).

Description and morphology: Perennial thorny shrub (height up to 2 m) with prickly stems. Leaves: paripinnate with oblanceolate, entire, rounded at end, almost sessile 1–5 leaflets (12–40 mm long). Stipules small, triangular, thorny. Flowers: bisexual; large (up to 2 cm long), zygomorphic, long-stalked (2–5 mm), arranged alternately along each thorn branchlet axis, violet-pink or rarely whitish. Calyx (4–5 mm long) persistent, fused and bluebelled (campanuled). Ovary apocarpous on long stalk.

Reproduction: Sexual. Flowering and fruit maturation: April–September. Fruit: glabrous, polyspermous legume (pod 1.2–1.5 cm long, 0.2 cm wide) on long stalk (4–6 mm long), often curved and tipped with a short spine. Free seeds inside pods, noisy when pods waving in the wind or shaken.

Pastoral importance: Not eaten by all livestock when green, occasionally leaves and fruits eaten by sheep, camels, goats in late autumn or winter. A troublesome weed in cultivated areas as it forms dense spiny thicket.

Economic interest: Good for honey production and as decorative plant. Used as live fence. Roots are used as a yellow dye. Used as fuel in desert areas.

Habitat: Phreatophyte. A common plant in tugaï vegetation; frequently found on saline soils, rivers and aryk banks. Occurs in abandoned irrigated fields together with Glycyrrhiza glabra, Cynodon dactylon and Aeluropus litoralis. Usually forms dense, hardly passable thickets. Moderately salt-tolerant.

Distribution: Ustyurt plateau, floodplains of the Amu-Darya and Zerafshan rivers, lowlands of Central Asia, Caucasus, Mongolia and Iran.