1. Ceratocarpus arenarius Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 969. 1753; Stewart, l.c. 220; Kom., l.c. 111; Aellen, l.c. 313; Hedge, l.c. 92. (Fig.14, A-E2).
C.caputmedusae Bluk. in Krylov, Fl. Sib.occ. 4: 905. 1930; C.utriculosus Bluk., l.c. 24 et 31 (nomen); C.turkestanicus Sav.-Ryz. in Kom., FI. URSS 6: Addenda 874 and 111. pl.2, fig. 14. 1936.
Annual, greyish herb with stellate-dendroid hairs, up to 30 cm high, branched from the base, the alternate forking branches often giving it a spherical tumble-weed shape; stem and branches stellate and long hairy, densely so in the lower parts. Leaves alternate, opposite or in whorls of 3 at the crotches, linear-filiform to linear, entire cuspidate, 1-nerved, lower 5-25 (-50) x 2-5 (-10) mm with a short mucro; upper leaves or female bracts much narrower, ± long cuspidate, covered with stellate hairs, long unbranched jointed hairs sometimes arising from the centre of the stellate hairs. Perianth of staminate flowers oblong-ovate, with obtuse lobes, sparsely covered with fugacious stellate hairs. Ovary densely stellate-hairy, hidden within bracteoles. Fruiting bracteoles oblong-obcuneate, (3.5-) 5-7 x 2.5-4 mm, with a longitudinal nerve on each side and with straight spreading subulate spines, up to 5 mm long, at the margins and apex.
Fl. Per.: June-July.
Type: Tataria, Herb. LINN. 1086/1 (LINN).
A plant of sandy areas; easily recognized by its annual habit, stellate-dendroid indumentum and spine-tipped leaves and bracts; Distribution: W. & C. Asia. E. Europe, Turkey, Iran to Pakistan.
C.turkestanica Sav.-Rycz. (in Kom., 1.c. 874) was said to differ by its broader leaves 15-50 x 2-10 mm, linear-oblong, and obovoid bracteoles 5-10 (-15) x 4-7 mm. Some of our specimens cited above (collected by S.Kitamura from Quetta and S.I.Ali from Murree) are very similar to this. These variations may be due to age or habitat.