14. Salsola orientalis S. G. Gmelin, Reise Russland. 4: 47. 1784; (Pl. V) Soskov in Ovcz., Fl. Tadzh. SSR 3: 393. 1968; Pratov in Consp. Fl. As. Med. 3: 90. 1968; Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 12: 186. 1975; Li in Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 25,2: 161. 1979; Greuter, Burdet & Long, Med-Checklist ed.2, 1: 310. 1984; Liu in Fl. Desert. Reip Pop. Sin. 1: 351. 1985; Mao in Fl. Xinjiang. 2,1:87. 1994; Czerepan., Vasc. Pl. Russia States, 187. 1995; Freitag in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 172: 207. 1997.
S. rigida Pall., Ill. pl., 20. 1803 (Pl. XII); Boiss., Fl. Or. 4: 962. 1879; Iljin in Fl. SSSR 6: 251. 1936; Mobayen, Fl. pl. vasc. Iran 2: 259. 1979 (fig. 132); S. heliaramiae Mouterde, Nouv. Fl. Liban. Syrie 1: 432; 1966; S. syriaca Botsch.in Bot. Zhurn. SSSR 60: 505.1975.
Subshrub or small shrub, 20-40 cm high; in young stage brownish by spreading, curved, branched hairs interspersed in lower part with stiff, 1-2.5 mm long ascending hairs, later glabrescent. Stem 1 cm thick, at base usually with several to many prostrate to ascending woody branches, grey, fissured. Annual shoots long, in upper part with ± numerous ascending to spreading branches forming a paniculate inflorescence of loose or condensed spikes; in addition to the flowering shoots often with numerous shorter vegetative shoots. Leaves ascending to spreading, succulent, linear or triangular in outline, 3-25 x 0.8-2 mm, straight or slightly incurved, obtuse, at base widened with narrow hyaline margins, semi-terete or almost terete in upper part; leaf axils often with fascicles of shorter leaves. Lowermost bracts leaf-like, much longer than bracteoles, the upper scale-like, uniformely 1.5-2 mm long, ovate to almost circular in outline, as long as or shorter than bracteoles and tepals. Bracteoles similar to upper bracts. Tepals broad ovate, 2-2.5 mm long, the outer 1.4-1.6 mm wide, 1-veined, transverse line at 1/4-1/3, green blotch triangular, margins smooth, with broad hyaline zone, apex and back hairy by flexuose denticulate to branched hairs. Anthers 1.5-1.8 mm long including the 0.1-0.15 mm long semi-circular appendage, divided for 2/3, distinctly exserted; filaments 2.5-3.5 mm long; disc very small. Style 0.5-0.7 mm long; stigmas 0.7-1 mm long, revolute, inside long papillose. Fruiting perianth 6-9 mm diam., widely overlapping, wings subequal, straw- to smoke-coloured; upper part of tepals stiff, forming a closed or open cone; lower part of tepals forming a bowl with a narrow flat base, slightly hardened. Seed semi-globular, 1.5-2.5 mm in diam.
Fl. Per.: June-September.
Type: [Kazakhstan] Auf den kreidigen Anhöhen bei Manggischlak [Mangyshlak], 27.7.1773 S.G. Gmelin; S.G. Gmelin, l.c., tab. V (Freitag 1997).
As yet the species has not been collected from the territory of Pakistan. But it is common through Afghanistan, and grows just across the border near Urgun in Ghazni province. Therefore sooner or later it will be found also in Waziristan and probably also in Upper Baluchistan; Distribution: From the N Caspian lowlands, NE Azerbaijab and NW Iran east to westernmost China and probably Pakistan, with outposts in E Syria and in the montains of C Sinai.
It is a subdominant species in various semi-desert communities.