Zygophyllum eichwaldii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Peganum harmala
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Zygophyllum eichwaldii (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Zygophyllum miniatum
Zygophyllum eichwaldii
Zygophyllum eichwaldii
Zygophyllum eichwaldii
Zygophyllum eichwaldii

Zygophyllum eichwaldii CAM.

Local name:

  • Russian: Парнолистник Эйхвальда - parnolistnik èjhval'da
  • Uzbek: Tuyetaban

Chromosome number: 2n = 22 (Zahareva and Astanova 1968).

Description and morphology: Perennial lowlying, small shrub (height 30–75 cm). Deep pivotal root system. Stem: fleshy with branches joined at nodes. Leaves: opposite, fleshy, leathery or slightly hairy, mostly bifoliate or occasionally several pairs of leaflets with spiny stipules. Flowers: bisexual; solitary or paired, terminal, pale yellow and white with red or purple spot at base of petal. Calyx with 5 overlapping sepals and same number of petals, usually overlapping and clawed; 8–10 stamens: held in whorls. Pollen grain 2-celled, 3-colporate. Ovary superior with 5 fused carpels often winged. Ovule 2 or rarely numerous, amphitropous, bitegmic, crassi-nucellate. Short style and lobed stigmas.

Reproduction: Sexual. Entomophilous. Flowering: April–June. Fruit: dehiscent drupe or 4–5 lobed berry-like capsule, angled along the locule partition or winged. Seed: orbicularoblong with erect or slightly bent embryo, surrounded by endosperm. Seed coat thin, shining, smooth. Dormancy B1 type. Germination (28 °C/dark): 24–32%. Chemical treatment with kinetin or thio-urea increases germination.

Pastoral importance: Poor to medium. Used during drought years. Some reports that Zygophyllum is poisonous. Fodder value: At flowering (% DM): ash 12; crude protein 10; cellulose 17; nitrogen-free extract 53. Leaves rich in vitamins. Aerial parts contain alkaloids and volatile oil.

Economic interest: Fodder, honey production, medicinal (antiseptic), colorant (local people extract yellow from fruits to dye wool). Leaves and fruits used to treat rheumatism and skin diseases.

Habitat: Xerophyte and/or halophyte. Often grows as a weed on both saline sandy and clay deserts and steppe soils, mainly on degraded range, along roadsides or in overgrazed areas. Occurs on ancient alluvial deposits, along irrigation channels and lake shores. Tolerates salinity.

Distribution: Irano-Turanian region, Middle and Central Asia and Afghanistan.