Tetracme quadricornis (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Malcolmia grandiflora
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Tetracme quadricornis (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Capparis spinosa
Tetracme quadricornis
Tetracme quadricornis


Tetracme quadricornis (Willd.) Bge

Local name:

  • Russian: Четверозубец четырехрогий - četverozubec četyrehrogij
  • Turkmen: Chemyr

Description and morphology: Annual ephemeral herb (5–20 cm). Stem: prostrate and weakly ramified at base, covered by numerous fine hairs. Leaves: linear or lancet-shapedlinear (1.5–5.0 cm long, 1.5–4.0 mm wide), sessile, short, pointed at end, rarely slightly dentate on the margins. Flowers: bisexual; small, terminal, assembled into short spike. Petals oblong-inverse-oviform, narrow towards the base, white-yellowish.

Reproduction: Entomophilous. Flowering: April–May. Fruit: polyspermous, flattened tetrahedral with 4 short, divergent small horns, pedunculate silique (1.0–1.5 cm long, 1.0 mm wide). Seed: small (1.0 mm long, 0.5 mm wide), ovoid with curved embryo, no endosperm. Light-sensitive. Seeds germinate slowly at 5–15 °C; only 30% germination after 2.5 months in dry storage. Pastoral importance: Readily eaten by all livestock.

Habitat: Occurs mainly on salt marshes (solonchak-alkaline soils), and sandy and stony soils. Grows as individual plant or often in small patches.

Distribution: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, southwestern European part of Russia and western China.