Scrophularia leucoclada (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Populus pruinosa
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Scrophularia leucoclada (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Verbascum songoricum
Scrophularia leucoclada
Scrophularia leucoclada

Scrophularia leucoclada Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Норичник беловетвистый - noričnik belovetvistyj
  • Uzbek: Muhallis

Chromosome number: 2n = 18 (Afanaseva 1960); 2n = 36 (Scheerer 1939; Shaw 1962; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial, small bush (height 25–50 cm) with woody, thick root. Stem: tetrahedral, weakly branched, covered by small black glands. Leaves: alternate, oblonglinear (1.2–4.0 cm long, 2.0–5.0 mm wide), narrowly cuneate towards base on short pedicel, entire margin, slightly acuminate at tip. Flowers: bisexual; on short peduncle (0.3–2.0 mm), assembled 1–3 in false umbels, form narrow, elongated paniculate inflorescence. Perianth pentamerous: irregular, zygomorphic; corolla sympetalous, mostly bilabiate with brown-reddish petals (6–7 mm long); 4 stamens; filaments glandular pubescent, accreted to corolla’s tube; staminode lanceolate, acuminate. Ovary superior, globose with numerous, anatropous, unitegmic, tenui-nucellate ovules. Pollen grain 2-celled, rarely 3-celled; 3 pores.

Reproduction: Sexual. Entomophilous. Flowering and fruit maturation: May–June. Fruit: capsule, almost spherical (3–4 mm diameter), opened by 2 valves. Seed: small, oblongelliptic, rugose, dark brown or black with erect embryo and large endosperm. Light-sensitive. Dormancy A2 type. Cold stratification stimulates germination.

Pastoral importance: Not grazed. Poisonous for cattle and horses. Roots contain alkaloid (scrofularin), also present in aerial parts with saponin, bitter substances, glucoside and fatty acids.

Economic interest: Extract from roots is used for treatment of child diseases (mostly against scrofula (a disease causing glandular swellings) and for regulation of endocrine disturbance (goitre).

Habitat: Meso-xerophyte. Occurs on sandy and alluvial soils, stony, gravelly slopes and banks and shores of dry rivers and lakes.

Distribution: Middle Asia (Kyzylkum, southern Pamir-Alai, Turkmenia and western Tien Shan) and Iran.