Ziziphora tenuior (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Phlomis thapsoides
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Ziziphora tenuior (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Eremurus inderiensis
Ziziphora tenuior
Ziziphora tenuior
Ziziphora tenuior
Ziziphora tenuior


Ziziphora tenuior L.

Local name:

  • Russian: Зизифора тонкая, кара-даре - zizifora tonkaja, kara-dare
  • Uzbek: Kora-dare, Cho’l yalpiz
  • Turkmen: Chopot, Keik-ot

Chromosome number: 2n = 16, 32 (Chuksanova unpublished data; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Annual herb (height 5–25 cm). Stem: erect, corymbose to ascending, slightly ramified at base, densely pubescent, frequently becoming reddish at maturity. Leaves: linear-lanceolate, short petiolate, acute, rough. Floral leaflets ovaterhombic, acuminate, arcuate-nerved, sheathing globular heads like an involucre. Flowers: bisexual; irregular, labiate, assembled on 6–8 axillary in false whorl in terminal spike (2.0–2.2 cm long) inflorescence; 4 stamens (fertile only 2.2 mm long). Anthers with small appendage. Calyx 2-lipped; corolla blue-violet, pink or lilac, corolla-tube dilated above, upper lip entire, lower trifid. Vegetative growth begins in early spring. Strong smell of menthol.

Reproduction: Sexual. Entomophilous. Flowering and fruit maturation: May–July. Fruit: 4 monospermous indehiscent nutlet mericarps. Seeds: small with erect embryo. Dormancy B1 type. Fresh seed does not germinate; dry storage for 1.0–2.5 years breaks the deep dormancy.

Pastoral importance: Poor. Not touched; occasionally grazed by camels.

Economic interest: Rich in volatile oil (menthol). Valuable for honey production. Largely used in traditional medicine as a treatment for nervous disorders, lowering blood pressure and digestive problems.

Habitat: Common on the adyr, Artemisia steppes in patches, on sandy-loamy soils; also in mountainous foothill regions, mainly on steep stony slopes.

Distribution: Widely distributed in Central Asia, Trans-Caucasia, southern Russia, western Siberia, Asia Minor, Iran, western China, Middle and Near East Mediterranean region.