Nitraria sibirica (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Morus nigra
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Nitraria sibirica (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Cistanche flava
Nitraria sibirica
Nitraria sibirica

Nitraria sibirica Pall.

Local name:

  • Russian: Селитрянка Шобера, окчангал - selitrjanka Šobera, okčangal
  • Uzbek: Okchangal

Chromosome number: 2n = 24, 96 (Reese 1957); 2n = 66 (Tarnavschii 1948; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial shrub (height up to 2 m), much branched, adpressedcanescent, spinescent hemispherical. Leaves: alternate or in fascicles (1.0–2.5 cm long, 0.5–1.5 cm), petiolate large, fleshy, obovatecuneate, retuse or crenate-dentate at apex. Stipules small, persistent. Flowers: bisexual; actinomorphic (5–8 mm), pentamerous, on annual branches, assembled in loose cymes. Calyx 5-partite, persistent; petals 5, free; disc inconspicuous. Corolla greenish-white, hispid; 15 or more stamens, inserted at margin of floral disk. Ovary 3-locular, pyramidal, tapering into a short style; stigmas 3, connivent.

Reproduction: Mainly vegetative. Also sexual. Flowering: May. Fruit maturation: August. Fruit: 1-seeded, pear-shaped (0.6–1.2 cm long, 0.5–0.7 cm wide), black, fleshy trigonous drupe. Seed: pendulous, ovoid, endosperm absent. Pastoral importance: Fruit consumed by all livestock. Fodder value: At budding stage contains (% DM): cellulose 16; protein 21; fat 2.9; ash 22; protein 14; nitrogen-free extract 37; Na 3.09; K 3.07; Cl 2.06; Si 0.22; P 0.35.

Economic interest: Salt-accumulative halophytic plant. Ornamental. Stabilizes shifting sand in saline areas; used for range restoration of salt-affected land. Provides a valuable source of potash for soapmaking.

Habitat: Halo-psammophyte. Tolerates soil salinity up to 30% water-soluble salts. Mostly present on sandy to loamy soils, salt-marshes (solonchak-alkaline), moist saline areas, riparian zones and tugaï.

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia, Trans-Caucasia, Iran, Afghanistan and Syria.