9. Atraphaxis frutescens (Linnaeus) Eversmann, Reise Orenbg. Buchara. 115. 1823.
木蓼 mu liao
Shrubs 50-100 cm tall, much branched. Stem stout, with gray-brown bark; epidermis splitting fibrously; woody branches spreading, tortuous, slender, apex obtuse, without spines; herbaceous branchlets of current year straight or slightly flexuous, slowly lignified, glabrous or papillate-hairy, apex with leaves or flowers. Leaves blue-green to gray-green, narrowly lanceolate, lanceolate, or oblong, 1-2.5 × 0.5-1.5 cm, glabrous or papillate-hairy, with prominent midvein and faint pinnate veins, base gradually narrowing into a short petiole, margin often revolute, apex acuminate or obtuse, with a short point; ocrea brown at base, cylindric, 2-5 mm, membranous, pellucid; upper part cleft into 2 sharp teeth. Pedicel 5-8 mm, jointed at or slightly below middle. Flowers fewer in terminal racemes (4-6 cm). Tepals pink, with white margin; outer tepals broadly ovate, ca. 2/3 as long as above jointed portion of pedicel; inner tepals orbicular or broadly elliptic, rarely oblong, 4-7 × 4-6 mm, base nearly cuneate or cordate, margin entire or revolute, apex rounded or obtuse. Achenes dark brown, shiny, narrowly ovoid, trigonous, smooth, apex acuminate. Fl. and fr. May-Aug.
Stony or dry slopes, sandy areas and pebbly valleys of steppes, sand dunes, margins of cultivated land, stony river banks; 500-3000 m. Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Xinjiang [Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia; E Europe].