4. Anabasis salsa (C. A. Meyer) Bentham ex Volkens in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3(1a): 87. 1893.
盐生假木贼 yan sheng jia mu zei
Brachylepis salsa C. A. Meyer in Ledebour, Fl. Altaic. 1: 372. 1829; Anabasis ramosissima Minkwitz; Microlepis salsa (C. A. Meyer) Eichwald.
Subshrubs 10-20 cm tall. Woody stem much branched, gray-brown to gray-white; annual branches numerous, erect or obliquely spreading, upper ones with 5-10 internodes; internodes usually 0.6-2 cm, terete or slightly ribbed, smooth. Lower and middle leaves spreading and recurved, linear, semiterete, 2-5 mm, apex with a pellucid, acicular, caducous awn; upper leaves scale-like, triangular, apex subobtuse, awnless. Flowers solitary in leaf axils, forming short spikes on upper part of branches; bractlets abaxially fleshy, margin membranous. Perianth segments 1.5-2 mm, unchanging in fruit, without abaxial wing; outer 3 segments suborbicular; inner 2 segments broadly ovate, apex obtuse. Disk lobes obscure or slightly semiorbicular. Ovary ovoid, smooth; stigmas black-brown. Utricle broadly ovoid, apex protruding from perianth; pericarp yellow-brown or slightly reddish, fleshy.
Gobi desert, saline-alkaline deserts. N Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia (Lower Volga region, SW Siberia); SW Asia (E Caucasus)].
Camels eat this plant in winter.