Salsola rigida (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Salsola richteri
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Salsola rigida (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Salsola sclerantha
Salsola rigida
Salsola rigida
Salsola rigida
Salsola rigida

Salsola rigida Pall.

Local name:

  • Russian: солянка корявая - soljanka korjavaja
  • Uzbek: Kuyryauk
  • Kazakh: Kuyreuk
  • Turkmen: Kevryk, Kevreik

Chromosome number: 2n = 18, 36, 72 (Zahareva 1968; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial, dwarf shrub (height 15–70 cm), polymorphic, friable divaricate, much branched from base. Life span 7–25 years. Pivotal root system (to depth 1.5– 7 m). Stem: grey-green, rough, rigid, woody, crooked, covered with short brittle hairs. Leaves: alternate, linear, almost semi-terete, obtuse, slightly dilated and adpressed, hairy at base. Bracteoles broad, obtusely keeled, scariousmargined. Perianth segments ovate, hulledmargined, lanceolate, hairy, rarely becoming glabrate in fruit. Inflorescence: wide panicle. Flowers: bisexual; single, sepaloid, dark yellow; anthers lengthening-oblong, appendiculate or with small orbicular appendage, open introrse by longitudinal cracks. Pollen grains 3-celled, multiporous. Stigmas short, thick, flat, villous on the inside. Ovary superior with one anacampylopous, crassi-nucellate, bitegmic ovule.

Reproduction: Sexual. Anemophilous. Different type of apomixis, polyembryony, parthenocarpy, geitonogamy. Flowering: May–August. Fruit maturation: end of October–November. Fruit: winged, indehiscent nuciform, monospermous (7.5–13 mm). Fruiting perianth including wings 7–10 mm across, connivent above the wings into a loose gently sloping cone; wings horizontal (7–12 mm diameter) with radial slit; fine venation, reniform, purple or roseate or possibly yellowish turning brown when ripe. Seed: orbicular, yellow-dark brown (2.0– 2.5 mm), closely accreted with thin fruiting body. Seed coat two-layered with intermediate cuticle. Embryo large (20–28 mm), spirally intorted, leucophyte with perisperm. Dormancy B1 type. Viable seeds: 68–90%. Germination: 18–52%. Stratification of seeds (3 °C) for 0.5–1 month or treatment with phytohormones and washing of fruits (2–3 changes in distilled water) increase germination. Seed viability 6–8 months. Seeds anemochorous.

Pastoral importance: Excellent forage; grazed eagerly by all livestock. Good value fodder in autumn-winter for camels, sheep and goats. Used for haymaking. Drought and salt-tolerant, it is used for range improvement and/or the creation of permanent autumn-winter pastures. Expected yield on the adyr with MAP 200– 350 mm reaches 0.85–1.06 t DM/ha; on improved cultivated range about 0.59–2.16 t DM/ha. Easy to introduce. Also an important source of fuelwood in arid environments.

Fodder value: Good to excellent. During flowering and fruit stages (% DM): crude protein 9–21; fat 2.7–3.6; nitrogen-free extract 41–46; fibre 17–42; ash 14–24. Fodder value estimated at 30–50 FU/100 kg DM.

Habitat: Xero-halophyte. Gypsophyte. Occurs on grey-brown soils, clay, gravelly solonchak deserts, flats and takyr. Found as single plants or in dense stands (natural or cultivated).

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia, Caspian region, Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan and China.