Merendera robusta (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Gagea elegans
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Merendera robusta (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Tulipa lehmanniana
Merendera robusta
Merendera robusta

Merendera robusta Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Мерендера - merendera
  • Turkmen: Kuydzhele

Chromosome number: 2n = 54 (Zahareva and Makushenko 1968).

Description and morphology: Perennial plant, very early spring development. Short stubby plant growing low on ground. Bulb tuberous (1.5–3.0 cm diameter) in black-brown thin sheaths. Stem: underground, at fruit formation. Leaves: 3–6 linear or linear-lancet, recurved, bent down, cauline in false rosette. Flowers: bisexual; actinomorphic, singular. Perianth segments white or pink. Leaves appear at the same time as flowers and fruits.

Reproduction: Sexual and vegetative. Flowering: February–March. Fruit maturation: April. Fruit: loculicidal capsule. Pastoral importance: Very poisonous due to alkaloids. Not touched by livestock. Fodder value: None. Economic interest: In medicine, bulbs used as treatment for rheumatism and cardio-vascular disorders. Often a source of rodenticide for control of desert rodents.

Habitat: Mostly distributed in the adyr, foothill and steppe areas.

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia, possibly extending to Syrian steppe.