Suaeda salsa (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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

Suaeda salsa (L.) Pall.

Local name:

  • Russian: Сведа солянчаковая, Cолянка солончаковая - sveda soljančakovaja, soljanka solončakovaja
  • Uzbek: Korabargut

Chromosome number: n = 9 (Darlington and Wylie 1955; Fedorov 1969; Walter and Ferguson 1999); 2n = 18, 36, 54 (Grant 1982).

Description and morphology: Annual herbaceous plant (height 25–100 cm), with shallow root system. Stem: (25–100 cm), terete to slightly angled, reddish-violet, erect to ascending, glabrous or tomentose with glandheaded hairs, much branched from base. Leaves: alternate, sub-acute, fleshy, sub-globose, oblong or inverse-narrowly lanceolate (1.0–1.25 cm long, 0.05–0.1 cm wide). Perianth segments (1 mm), deltoid, almost spherical, strongly convex, narrow and fused at base. Flowers: bisexual; rarely female, inconspicuous, sessile in axillary 2- to 5-flowered clusters, each cluster subtended by bract forming leafy spikes or lax panicles. Anthers (0.25 mm). Gynoecia 2–5 carpellate with a depressed ovoid or sub-globose, superior ovary. Ovule erect. Stigmas short, thread-like.

Reproduction: Sexual. Anemophilous. Flowering and fruit maturation: August– September. Fruit: monospermous, horizontally compressed utricle, pericarp thin-walled, membranous, free from seed when dry. Seed: (1.2–1.5 mm), strongly compressed with sharp edge, lenticular or orbicular-ovoid, black or black-brown, smooth, glossy, with mesh figure. Sometimes dimorphic: early formed seed with corky testa; late-formed seeds with scarious testa. Embryo in a flat coil (flat spiral), perisperm absent. Seed viability: 24–32%. Long-term stratification with day/night cycle under alternate temperatures stimulates germination; maximal in fresh water and decreased by high concentrations of sodium chloride.

Pastoral importance: Fodder plant of medium to poor quality. Grazed by camels and small ruminants mostly in autumn-winter. Recommended for silage-making for winter feed. Fodder value poorly investigated. Expected yield in tugaï is about 0.55–1.16 t/ha.

Economic interest: Sometimes eaten (after boiling) or used as medicine because of its laxative properties. Once used for potash production.

Habitat: Halophyte. Grows as single plants or in small groups on saline soils, wet saltmarshes (solonchak-alkaline soils), desert and semi-desert flats, sandy lake shores and mudflats.

Distribution: Middle Asia (Karakum, Kyzylkum, Aral region), Kazakhstan, south-eastern part of Russia, Caucasus, Caspian shore; also in Australia, Egypt, North America and Argentina.