3. Anabasis aphylla Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 223. 1753.
无叶假木贼 wu ye jia mu zei
Anabasis tatarica Pallas.
Subshrubs 20-50 cm tall. Woody stem much branched; branchlets gray-white, usually fissured annular; annual branches erect or obliquely spreading, simple or branched, fresh green; internodes numerous, terete, 0.5-1.5 cm. Leaves obscure or slightly scale-like, broadly triangular, apex obtuse or acute. Flowers 1-3 in leaf axils, forming spikes on upper part of branches; bractlets shorter than perianth, margin membranous. Outer 3 perianth segments suborbicular, proximally with a transverse wing abaxially; wing erect, light yellow or pink, flabellate, orbicular, or reniform, membranous; inner 2 perianth segments elliptic, wingless or small winged. Disk lobes linear, apex pectinate. Utricle vertical, subglobose, 1.5-2 mm in diam.; pericarp dark red, fleshy, smooth. Fl. Aug-Sep, fr. Oct.
Gobi desert, inter-dunes, gravelly alluvial fans, sometimes on arid slopes. W Gansu, Xinjiang [Russia (SW Siberia); C Asia, Europe].
This species is used medicinally and for stabilizing dunes. The annual branches contain the alkaloid anabasine (C10H14N2), a botanical insecticide.