Salsola gemmascens (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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

Salsola gemmascens Pall.

Local name:

  • Russian: Солянка почечконосная, тетыр, джертезек - soljanka počečkonosnaja, tetyr, džertezek
  • Uzbek, Turkmen: Tetir, Djertezek
  • Kazakh: Tytr

Description and morphology: Perennial, low shrub (height 15–35 cm) almost sphericalshaped, slender, woody at base. Stem: strongly ramified, covered with many transparent scalelike mounds; many buds along stems as well as on leaf surface. Leaves: alternate, small 3-angular with a hump below, extended at base and closely attached to stem. Anthers divided almost to end with oblong-ovate or lanceolate-acuminate appendage. Stigmas compacted, glabrous, reddish colour. Growth starts in April.

Reproduction: Sexual. Flowering: August– September. Fruit maturation: September–October. Fruit: monospermous, nut-like, winged, redbright yellow-pinkish (7–10 mm). Perianth during fruiting stage with short, thin, faintly veined, kidney-like shape or inverse ovate wings; upper perianth wide, thick-walled with convex, friable tube. Seed: horizontal, rarely vertical.

Pastoral value: From autumn until spring, well grazed by camel and small ruminants. In autumn and beginning of winter it is considered a highly calorific feed for sheep and camels, but later in spring and summer it is poorly consumed, except by camels. Not grazed by horses and cattle. Considered a valuable plant for range improvement and/or creation of permanent pastures on saline and solonchak, takyr-like soils. Also used for the rehabilitation of degraded saline desert areas. Expected yield 0.01–0.5 t DM/ha.

Fodder value: Fodder value much higher during winter period. Green forage contains (% DM): protein 9–14; fat 1.6–3.5; cellulose 17–26; ash 22–29; nitrogen-free extract 32–44. In spring, reputed to be rich in amino acids, macro- and micro-elements. Forage value about 71 FU and 9.7 kg digestible protein/ 100 kg DM.

Habitat: Halo-xerophyte. Prime colonizer on takyr-like or compacted sandy, gypseous more friable soils, takyr soils developed on ancient alluvial deposits of floodplain near river bed in Central Asia, residual salt-marshes (solonchakalkaline soils) and heavy clay or loamy gypseous soils in south-west of Kyzylkum, Minbulak depression and various areas of desert in Kazakhstan.

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, rare in Mongolia. Similar ecology to Salsola tetragona and S. tetrandra from arid zones of North Africa.