Salsola arbuscula (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Salicornia herbacea
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Salsola arbuscula (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Salsola gemmascens
Salsola arbuscula
Salsola arbuscula
Salsola arbuscula
Salsola arbuscula
Salsola arbuscula
Salsola arbuscula


Salsola arbuscula Pall.

Local name:

  • Russian: Солянка деревцевидная, боялич - soljanka derevcevidnaja, bojalič
  • Turkmen: Karadja, Cherkez
  • Uzbek, Kazakh: Boyalich

Chromosome number: n = 9 (Grant 1982; Turner 1994).

Description and morphology: Perennial shrub (height 50–120 cm). Pivotal and superficial root system (to depth 5–10 m, 8–12 m in all directions). Life span 7–12 years. Stem: much branched, greyish-brown brilliant, woody at base. Annual branches yellowish-white, villous, weakly pubescent, becoming glabrous and indurate with age. Leaves: alternate (5–35 mm long), fleshy, rectilinear or filamentous, clasping at base, deciduous. Bracts linear, fleshy, with semi-circular margin. Bracteoles 2 large, surrounding flower bud, broad-ovate to semi-orbicular, apex mucronate, glabrous, broadly scarious-margined. Flowers: bisexual; green inconspicuous, protogynous, pentamerous, solitary on axillary bracts or rarely in clusters forming loose spikes. Perianth segments membranous, obtuse, winged in fruit below the middle. Anthers large with narrowly lanceolate or oblong-ovate appendage. Pollen grain 3-celled, highly fertile (85–92%), pentapolyporate. Ovary superior with 1 ana-campilotropous, crassi-nucellate, bitegmic ovule. Stigmas subulate, enlarged bellow and flat, 2–4 times as long or more rarely equalling the style.

Reproduction: Sexual. Mostly anemophilous, occasionally entomophilous. Heterocarpy, polyembryony, apomixis. Flowering: end of May–September. Fruiting maturation: end of September–October. Fruit: utricle (fruiting perianth including wings 7.8–12 mm diameter), pericarp fleshy to membranous, not adherent to seeds when dry. Tepal lobes ovoid-oblong (4–6 mm), gradually dilated towards apex, near the wings closely adherent to fruit, in upper part rosulate expended and sometimes reflexed. Wings pale yellow, with a faint rosy-red flush, often slightly hairy, horizontal, semi-orbicular, or narrower, scarious with fine venation. Seed: small (2.1 mm), horizontal, dark brown, orbicular. Embryo large, spirally intorted. Dormancy A2–B1 type. Field germination is low (8–12%), because of sclerified fruiting body. Viable seeds: 78–82%. Stratification (3 °C) for 0.5–1 month and processing with phytohormones are effective and increase germination to 54%. Storage under dry conditions (20–22 °C) is also effective. Seed viability 10–12 months.

Pastoral importance: Considered a good summer-autumn forage for sheep and goats, mostly grazing annual growth, leaves, fruits and thinner woody stems. Camels graze all year round. Expected yield is about 0.2–0.25 t DM/ha. Widely used for range improvement and/or creation of long-term pastures in sandy deserts.

Fodder value: Forage contains (% DM): 3.6–20 crude protein; fat 2.2–3.4; about 20% micro-elements and mineral salts.

Habitat: Xerophyte (facultative psammophyte). Prime colonizer of sandy desert plant communities; grows on fixed or compacted sandy soils, shallow sand, gravel, gypsum, rare on rocks; scattered over considerable areas.

Distribution: Middle Asia (south-western part Kyzylkum, Ustyurt, Aral-Caspian region, Moyunkum, Karakum), south-eastern part of Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, China and Mongolia.