5. Suaeda acuminata (C. A. Mey.) Moq. in Ann. Sci. Nat. 23: 306. 1831; Iljin in Fl. SSSR 6: 187. 1936; Grubov, Pl. As. Centr. 2: 72. 1966; Soskov in Ovcz., Fl. Tadzh. SSR. 3: 376 (p.p.). 1968; Pratov in Consp. Fl. As. Med. 3: 78. 1968; Kung & Chu in Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 25,2: 124. 1979; Mao in Fl. Xinjiang 2,1: 62. 1994; Czerepan., Vasc. Pl. Russia States 188. 1995; Akhani & Podlech in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 172: 141. 1997. - (Fig. 20, E).
Schoberia acuminata C.A. Mey. in Ledeb., Fl. Alt. 1: 398. 1829; Suaeda setigera sensu Boiss., Fl. Or. 4: 642. 1879.
Annual, 10-30 x (2)5-15 cm, erect, primary stem usually dominant; in living stage greyish green, dried specimens pale, only the youngest parts somewhat darkening; glabrous, but youngest stems with fugacious thread-like curled hairs. Stem much and repeatedly branched, at base up to 3 mm thick; branches ascending to spreading, grey, terete, terminating in dense, shorter or longer spike-like inflorescences, straight up to the top. Leaves succulent, 5-15(20) x (0.5)0.7-1.5 mm, semi-terete, linear, acute or acuminate, often with a distinct, 0.5-1 mm long brownish mucro, sessile, in dry condition with prominent hyaline margins, straight, erect or ascending; leaf anatomy of the C4 type, with 2 internal chlorenchyma layers and thick peripheral water storage tissue. Bracts more often mucronate, at base petiole-like attenuate, always much longer than floral and fruit clusters. Bracteoles 0.6-0.8 mm long, broadly ovate, acuminate, the margins in upper part slightly obtusely lobed. Glomerules usually (1)3(5)-flowered, axillary. Flowers mostly perfect, weakly protandrous, drum-shaped to globular, 1-1.3 mm in diameter; tepal lobes rather succulent, fused for 1/2, green along the veins, with wide hyaline margins and obtusely lobed apex, cucullate, dorsally obtusely keeled, fruiting perianth moderately enlarged, up to 1.5 mm in diameter. Stamens 5; filaments almost linear, finally up to 0.8 mm long, inserted at c. 1/2 of tepal length; anthers 0.5-0.7 x 0.4-0.5 mm, divided for about 1/2. Ovary superior, narrowly conical with a wide columnar beak or almost cylindric; stigmas (2)3, 0.3-0.5 mm long, with short papillae, inserted in the sunken centre of the collar-like ovary apex. Seeds horizontal, 0.9-1 x 0.75-0.85 mm, 0.5-0.6 mm thick, slightly flattened, beak short; testa black, much shining, smooth.
Fl. Per.: August-September.
Lectotype: [W China, Dzungaria] “Chenopodium 193 in locis salsis deserti Trans-Irtisch”, s. coll., s. dat.; (LE!). Botschantzev 1989.
No indication for Baltistan, but in the neighbourhood of Upper Baluchistan it was found in SE Afghanistan at an altitude of 2200 m on a large alluvial flat with only slightly saline clayey soils, dominated by Lycium ruthenicum; Distribution: From Ukraine eastwards through SE European Russia, Kazakhstan, S Siberia to Mongolia, southwards to Transcaucasia, NW Iran, SE Afghanistan and probably to Upper Baluchistan.
S. acuminata is a very polymorphic species. For easier identification of plants from Pakistan, the description is based on the almost identical populations from Baltistan and SE Afghanistan only. The combination of the typical leaf shape of S. acuminata with the long mucro of S. microsperma in the populations descirbed here certainly is a strong argument for the close affinity of both taxa. With more material from a wider area at hand, it might be possible to assign the populations of our area to a new taxon.