Salsola sclerantha (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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

Salsola sclerantha CAM.

Local name:

  • Russian: Cолянка хрящецветная, сета, шора - soljanka hrjaščecvetnaja, seta, šora
  • Uzbek: Seta, Shora
  • Turkmen: Shora, Peshmek

Description and morphology: Annual plant (height 10–45 cm). Stem: profusely branched from base, at least in upper part farinose with slim bladdery hairs, in lower part densely covered with long, willowy, tangled and largely fugacious hairs. Leaves: alternate terete, dilated at base, hairy, deciduous when fruiting. Bracts rarely equal mostly shorter than semi-orbicular obtusely keeled, farinose bracteoles. Flowers: solitary remote; perianth much longer than bracteoles (3–5 mm long at anthesis), heavily covered with bladdery scales and usually some simple hairs; scarious-margined, winged in fruit below the middle; wings membranous, often stiff, rounded-obovate or oblong-spatulate, yellow or pinkish or purple turning yellowish. Fruiting perianth (including wings 7–12 mm in diameter), the lobes pyramidal connivent, inflexed margins forming slits. Anthers divergent well beyond the middle, terminating in a sessile ovate obtuse appendage. Style as long or mostly several times as long as stigmas, obtuse, often slightly enlarged at tips.

Reproduction: Anemophilous. Flowering: July–August. Fruit maturation: August–October. Fruit: monospermous utricle. Perianth leaflets during fruit stage hulled-bordered (7–12 mm long) with entire margins; wings hardly overlapping, enlarged to base; colourless or pink, membranous, assembled in a cone-shaped column.

Pastoral importance: Good palatability and nutritious value; potential in pure or mixed stands for range improvement of degraded areas on sandy soils. Green forage 0.1–0.3 t/ha, rarely to 0.5 t/ha. Harvested for hay. In summer, rich in vitamins for sheep, lambs, goats and cattle. Palatability in autumn is greatly improved.

Fodder value: Highest content of ash of all Salsola spp. (up to 35%); in winter, decreases to 10%. Green matter (% DM): cellulose 14, rises to 44 when dry; protein 8–14; carotin 8.4 mg/kg at bud stage and 2.8 mg/kg in fruit.

Habitat: Halo-xerophyte. Occurs on compacted and grey-brown sand, weakly saline, loamy clay or seldom on stony areas. Occurs as both single plants or in patches of many plants in desert plant communities.

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan.