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Pakistan | Family List | Pakistan V. 204 | Chenopodiaceae | Salsola

16. Salsola chorassanica Botsch. in Bot. Mat. Gerb. Inst. Bot. Akad. Nauk Uzbek. SSSR. 18: 6. 1967; Freitag in Rech. f, Fl. Iran 172: 222. 1997. (Fig. 29, B).

S. gemmascens Pall. subsp. kandaharica Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 19: 81. 1982.

Annual, 10-30 cm high, with distinct reddish juice, the colour often preserved in dried specimens. Stem shorter than the prostrate or ascending, straight, rigid lateral branches, irregulary divaricate, in upper part with loosely arranged lateral spikes; long hairs in lower part stiff or slightly curved, to 3 mm long, warty, giving young plants a whitish colour, adult plants glaucous-grey with adpressed short simple or two-armed (1 arm very short) hairs. Lowermost leaves 5-15(30) mm long, linear to narrow triangular, spreading to ± recurved, flat, moderately succulent, acute, c.1 mm wide, higher up succesively shorter, 1.5-2 x 1 mm. Spikes very dense, usually 1-4(10) cm x 2.5-3.5 mm. Bracts and bracteoles similar to upper leaves, obtusely keeled, the keel protruding into the obtuse apex, adpressed to tepals, in fruiting stage forming a small cup 2-2.5 mm diam.; bracts + triangular, 1.2-1.4 x 1.4-1.6 mm; bracteoles transversely ovate, 1.4-1.5 x 1.7-2 mm. Tepals ovate, apex rounded to subacute, 1.5-2.1 mm long, the outer 1-1.2 mm wide, transverse line at 1/3, green blotch triangular or elliptic, densely covered by vesicular hairs, towards the margins with smooth, flexuose, simple or unequally 2-armed hairs, grtading into simple hairs on the lower back and forming a ring at base, margins glabrous. Anthers 1.1-1.5 mm long, divided up to the appendage, sagittate; appendage 0.4-0.6 x 0.2-0.3 mm, slightly separated, flat, lanceolate or narrow ovate, light yellow; filaments almost linear; 1.5-1.7 x 0.25 mm; disc thick, rim-like, ± unlobed, 0.15-0.2 mm wide, upper surface glandular. Style 0.4-0.5 mm, conical, in upper part shortly papillose; stigmas 0.4-0.7 mm long, in upper part recurved, widest at the c. 0.2 mm broad obtuse apex, outside loosely papillose, inside densely so. Fruiting perianth (4)5-6(7) mm diam., wings subequal, overlapping, papery, whitish to straw-coloured, sometimes blackish tinged; tepal lobes above the wings forming a regular closed dome, each tepal with a longitudinal bulge; tepals below the wings forming a plate-like structure, the flat base narrow, with 5 grooves, outside densely hairy, with prominent middle vein. Seed 1.5-1.8 mm diam., green, horizontal.

Fl. Per.: July-September.

Holotype: [Iran] Khorasan, E.G. Czerniakowska 246 (LE) iso-(LE!).

A narrow-ranging endemic of the SE Irano-Turanian area and on roadsides and other ruderal sites from c. 450-1200 m. it is expected to grow all over the northern parts of Chagai and in western parts of Quetta district.

No data from Pakistani territory available, but the species’ ecology may be the same as in S and SE Afghanistan - locally common in very open and most severe semi-deserts, preferably on desert pavements; Distribution: S Iran (S Khorasan, Sistan), S and SE Afghanistan and Pakistan (Baluchistan).

By its rigid branches and the unusually stiff warty hairs the species is easily distinguishable from the following species, already in vegetative stage. Because of a misprint in Fl. Iran.(Freitag 1997, p. 223), the statement concerning the synonym S. gemmascens Pall. subsp. kandaharica is repeated here in a corrected version: The erroneous description of that species by Botschantzev (1982) is based on rather robust, woody branches of S. chorassanica collected from near Kandahar. The type (Podlech 19622) and a second specimen (Volk 71/651) agree in every character. But from the lignification -which happens in many annual Salsola species- Botschantzev concluded that it must be something different. Besides he observed the occurrence of (unequally) 2-armed adpressed hairs on the surface of bracts, bracteoles and tepals which is typical for Salsola sect. Malpighipila Botsch. were the Turanian species S gemmascens belongs.


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