Smirnowia turkestana (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Robinia pseudacacia
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Smirnowia turkestana (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Iris longiscapa
Smirnowia turkestana
Smirnowia turkestana
Smirnowia turkestana

Smirnowia turkestana Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Смирновия туркестанская - smirnovija turkestanskaja
  • Turkmen: Patlak

Description and morphology: Perennial shrub (height 60–160 cm), woody and strongly branched at base. Pivotal root system (to depth 2–3 m). Stem: annual, numerous, herbaceous, glabrous or poorly pubescent. Leaves: simple, reverse cordate (4–20 mm long, 4–15 mm wide). Leaves: silvery pubescent on both surfaces, bidentate at top, entire. The secondary leaf generation (in autumn) is characteristic for this plant. Stipules free, triangular-lanceolate. Flowers: bisexual; solitary in axils of upper leaves (2–5 mm long) on hanging peduncle; zygomorphic, pentamerous pink-red with fused tubular-campanulate sepals; 10 stamens (9 accreted and 1 free). Ovary superior with single carpel.

Reproduction: Sexual or vegetative (suckers). Entomophilous. Flowering: April–May. Fruit maturation: May–June. Fruit: large inflated pod (3.8–5.0 cm), pale brown, dry, dehiscent, swollen, bubble or egg-shaped, oval-ovoid, on short peduncle, polyspermous (only 3–5 reach maturity). Seed: ovoid-orbiculate or reniform (5.1–6.3 mm), pale brown or light green, with smooth and lustreless spermoderm. Dormancy Af type. Hardseededness 85%. Scarification and treatment with sulphuric acid (30 minutes) then dark/light cycle (28–30 °C) significantly increase germination. Seed longevity 8–9 years.

Pastoral importance: None. Not grazed or consumed by livestock.

Habitat: Xerophyte. Frequently present on sandy soil, rarely on clay saline soils, on the edge of takyr.

Distribution: Endemic of Middle Asia.