19. Salsola canescens (Moq.) Boiss., Fl. Or. 4: 963. 1879; Mobayen, Fl. pl. vasc, Iran 2: 258. 1979; Freitag in Rech.f.(ed.), Fl. Iran. 172: 230. 1997. (Fig. 26, C).
Noaea canescens Moq. in DC., Prodr. 13,2: 208. 1849; Halimocnemis tomentosa Moq. var. glabrescens Moq., Chenop. monogr. enum. 152. 1840; Salsola boissieri Botsch. in Bot. Zhurn. SSSR 53: 1442. 1968 (nom. superfl.); Mobayen, Fl. pl. vasc. Iran 2: 258. 1979; S. titovii Botsch. in Bot. Mat. Gerb. Inst. Bot. Akad. Nauk Uzbek. SSR 3: 3. 1941; S. podlechii Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 17: 129. 1980.
Subshrub, 10-30(40) cm high; greyish green to whitish by a dense indumentum of ascending to semi-adpressed, 0.3-0.6(1) mm long flexuose, smooth hairs. Stem densely branched at base, often caudex-like and then up to 15 mm thick, flattened and blackish like the sturdy taproot; woody branches prostrate or ascending, at first cream-coloured, than turning brown; annual shoots of 2 types: - flowering shoots few, erect, 3-30 cm long, only in lower part with a few very long, loose, erect, thin spikes of (5)10-15 cm x 5-8 mm, in lower part with rosulate leaves in the axils of the caducous leaves; - vegetative shoots ± numerous, prostrate, with very short internodes, with persistent leaves. Leaves usually flat on both sides, linear to narrow lanceolate, acuminate, densely hairy, on flowering shoots 5-10 x 0.6-1.5 mm, on vegetative shoots 3-6 x 0.5-0.7 mm. Bracts leaf-like, the lower usually much longer than bracteoles and tepals, the upper as long as or slightly shorter, to (2.5)3.0 mm. Bracteoles rather uniform, similar to upper bracts, c. 3-4 mm long. Tepals lanceolate, 3.5-4(4.2) mm long, the outer 1.5-2 mm wide, 3-5-veined, the inner 3-veined, apex obtuse to acutish, transverse line at 1/3, above loosely hairy with 0.2-0.5 mm long, ascending, flexuose and straight smooth hairs. Anthers with appendage 2.5-3.2 mm long, divided up to the appendage; appendage connate to thecae, not constricted at base, 0.7-1.1 mm long, at base 0.3-0.4 mm wide, narrow triangular, obtuse, rough; filaments linear, 3-3.5 x 0.2 mm; disc thick, 0.2-0.25 mm wide, glandular, papillose, with short staminal and interstaminal lobes. Style 0.5-0.8 mm long; stigmas 1.0-1.3 mm long, flat or with a longitudinal furrow on upper side, apex crenate. Fruiting perianth 8-12 mm diam., wings subequal, overlapping, flexuose, brownish; tepal lobes above separated from the wings by a distinct cleft, than arched and bent upwards forming a steep, truncate cone or an open cylinder; tepals below the wings forming a hardened cup, base flat, narrow. Utricle 2.5-3 mm diam., horizontal, oblique or vertical.
Lectotype:[Iraq, Kurdistan, S of Amadiya] In cacumine M. Gara Kurdistan oprientem versus frequens, Th. Kotschy 346 (LE!), iso (P!, G!, H!,JE!,K!,W!). Botschantzev, l.c. 1968.
The species has not yet been collected in Pakistan. From its wide distribution in Afghanistan it can be concluded that it may occur also in Waziristan and perhaps in N Baluchistan as well. In adjacent Afghanistan S. canescens is a high-mountain species of altitudes from c. 2000-3500 m; Distribution: From the mountains of SW Anatolia south to the Antilibanon in Syria and the Zagros Mts. in SW Iran, through the Elburz and Hindukush in N Iran and Afghanistan to the Pamir Alai in Uzbekistan and further east to the W Tian Shan, southeastwards to the Suleiman Rge. and the border of Afghanistan to Pakistan.
From its closest relative S. tomentosa it differs by a large set of characters: leaves flat on both sides, covered by a persistent silky indumentum of smooth (nor spinulose) hairs. Spikes few, very long, thin, loose and strictly erect. Most floral organs larger, -tepals with 3-7 veines (versus 1-3), -anther appendage without basal constriction. Ecology different.