Tithymalus turczaninowii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Ephedra strobilacea
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Tithymalus turczaninowii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Alhagi pseudalhagi
Tithymalus turczaninowii
Tithymalus turczaninowii


Tithymalus turczaninowii (K. et K.) Kl. et Gke ex Klotzsch.

Local name:

  • Russian: Молочай Турчанинова, Циатин Турчанинова - moločaj Turčaninova, ciatin Turčaninova
  • Uzbek: Sutlyama

Chromosome number: n = 10 (Darlington and Wylie 1955; Grant 1982); 2n = 12, 20, 56 (Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Annual ephemeral plant (height 10–30 cm), strongly branched, milky latex.

Leaves: alternate opposite, sessile, obovoid, numerous. Bracts oblonglanceolate, unequal at base and spiciform at end. Inflorescence: cyathium, with several male flowers and 1 female flower, enclosed in a gland-bearing involucre; axillary cyathia or in pseudo-umbels. Male campanulate or capiform, 1 stamen borne on own pedicel. Female superior, trilocular and tri-stylus ovary on pedicel, usually elongate in fruit; ovules 1 per locule. Stigmas usually bifid.

Reproduction: Sexual. Flowering and fruit maturation: April–beginning of June. Fruit: 3-spermous, fractional capsule, dehiscing into 3 mericarps. Seed: (1–0.5 mm), pyramidal- 6-angled, smooth, slightly acuminate at top without appendage, erect, large embryo, surrounded by endosperm. Dormancy A1–B2 type. Seeds contain inhibitors. Stratification with variable temperatures (0–2/18–20 °C or 6/35 °C) and/or soaking or washing of seeds in distilled water increase germination.

Pastoral importance: Poor value. Grazed occasionally by sheep in spring; usually not appreciated by all livestock, especially when in fruit.

Habitat: Xero-mesophyte. Ubiquitous on sandy soils.

Distribution: Middle Asia (north-western Kyzylkum, Ustyurt and north-eastern Karakum).