15. Salsola cyclophylla Baker in Kew Bull. 1894: 340. 1894; Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 146. 1974; Greuter, Burdet & Long, Med-Checklist ed.2, 1: 308. 1984; Mandaville, Fl. East. Saudi Arabia, 87. 1990; Boulos in Miller & Cope, Fl. Arab. Penins. Socotra 1: 272. 1996; Freitag in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 172: 211. 1997; Chaudhary, Fl. Kingd. Saudi Arabia 1: 185. 1999. (Fig. 28, D).
Subshrub or small shrub, 20-60 cm high; white with spreading (axes) and adpressed (outer side of leaves, bracts, bracteoles) 0.3-0.6 mm long smooth, thick-walled, flat hairs, rarely sparsely hairy to almost glabrous. Stem intricately branched from the to 2cm thick base, gnarled and light grey like the branches; branches ascending to spreading, stiff, around the leaf bases with rings of persisting long hairs, becoming + spinescent, developing from gemma-like buds, cream-coloured; last order branches forming condensed, often regularly arranged 5-15 x 2.5-3.5(4) mm spikes. Leaves scale-like, broadly triangular, obtuse, 1.0-1.6 mm long and wide, at base dorsally much thickened, upper surface concave, glabrous; leaf axils on long shoots with silvery, angled, globular gemmae. Bracts and bracteoles subequal, similar to the leaves but only c. 1 mm long and wider than long. Tepals ovate, 1.4-1.6 mm long, the outer 1-1.2 mm wide, 1-veined, transverse line at 1/3, green blotch covered by the densely adpressed indumentum. Anthers 0.7-0.9 mm long including the 0.15-0.2 mm long obtuse appendage, divided for c. 2/3; filaments linear, 1.2-1.5 mm long, inserted on outer base of disc; disc cup-like, thickened, 0.3 mm wide, glabrous, the margin undulate or lobed. Style 0.4-0.6 mm long; stigmas 0.4-0.6 mm long, flat, inside shortly papillose. Fruiting perianth 4-5.5 mm diam., the wings subequal, pale, fresh often pinkish; upper parts of tepals stiff, straight, forming a cone; lower part of tepals moderately hardened, forming a broad obconical structure, flat base very narrow. Seed semi-globular, flattened above, 1 mm diam.
Fl. Per.: October-November.
Lectotype: [S Yemen] Shari Burrock Valley, Mokalla, 200-300’, 21.12.1893, Lunt 53; (K!), iso- (BM!, P!). Botschantzev, l.c. 1975.
Common and forming communities of its own on gypsiferous sands, pebbles, weak sedimentary rocks, in washes, on higher playa edges and on eroded slopes in the most severe hot deserts.By its smooth hairs and very remarkable disc the species stands rather apart from sympatric S. imbricata, but in habit sometimes it looks rather similar. Can easily be identified by its rigid branches, usually pungent; appearance whitish from the dense indumentum on all leafy organs; without fishy smell. The species is very palatable, but due to the intricate spiny branch system it is browsed almost exclusively by camels; Distribution: From Egypt through the Arabian Peninsula and S Iran to Pakistan.