1. Salsola drummondii Ulbr. in Engl. & Prantl Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2. 16c: 565. 1934; R. R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 226. !972; Freitag in Ali & Ghaffar, Pl. Life S Asia 89. 1991; Mandaville, Fl. East Saudi Arabia 89. 1990; Boulos in Miller & Cope, Fl. Arab. Penins. Socotra 1: 27. 1996; Freitag in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 172: 165. 1997; Chaudhary, Fl. Kingd. Saudi Arabia 1: 187. 1999. (Figs. 25, D; 26, A,F; 29, A1,2).
Vern.: Dumia, Lán (Salt Range).
S. schweinfurthii sensu Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 13: 96, 1976 p.p.; S. obpyrifolia Botsch. & Akhani in Bot. Zhurn. SSSR 74: 1665, 1989; S. vermiculata sensu Parker, Forest Fl. Punjab ed.2: 418. 1924.
Small hemispherical shrub, 30-100 cm, dark green, glabrous, drying black. Stem up to 15 mm thick; woody branches erect or ascending, the upper spreading; annual shoots except for the innovation shoots richly branched from base, with spreading or evenly recurved branches, each producing a loose, often flexuose spike. Leaves alternate, the lowermost + opposite, ascending to spreading, on first order axes 5-15(20) x 1-1.5(2) mm, semi-terete or terete, cylindric to clavate; leaf axils with dense tufts of curled hairs, later often with smaller, obconical, rosulate leaves. Bracts obconical, obpyriform or dumb-bell-shaped, 2-4 x 1.5-3 mm, bract axils with 3-5 clustered flowers, 2 bracteoles of 1st order and 4(6) much, smaller bracteoles of higher order, immersed in dense wool of 0.5-0.8 mm long curled hairs. Tepals cucullate, almost circular, 1.2-1.5 mm long, all 1-veined or the outer 2(3)-veined, without distinct midrib in upper part, apex rounded, crenulate, emarginate or variously lobed, green blotch broadly triangular, transverse line at 1/2. Anthers 0.5-0.7 mm long including the minute appendage; filaments almost linear, 1.2-1.5 mm long, at base 0.3 mm wide; interstaminal disc lobes much longer than wide, 0.5-0.6 mm long, densely papillose. Style 0.4-0.5 mm long; stigmas 2(3), flat, 0.3-0.6 mm long, densely covered with short papillae. Fruiting perianth 5-9 mm diam., wings scarcely overlapping; tepals above the wings evenly incurved or almost straight, leaving the utricle fully or partly exposed; tepals below the wings scarcely hardened, forming a bowl-shaped cup, base flat, with 5 shallow grooves. Utricle horizontal, 1.5-2.5 mm diam.
Fl. Per.: October-November.
Lectotype: [Pakistan] Punjab, distr. Mari, abundant on the salthills close to the bungalow at Mari, 25.12.1901, J.R. Drummond 13785; ( K!), iso-(G!, K!) Freitag,1997.
Distribution: Arabian Peninsula (E part), S Iran, Pakistan (S and C parts of Baluchistan, S parts of N.W.F.P, W part of Punjab); expected along the foothills of the Sulaiman Ranges. Maps of the species´distribution are included in Freitag (1991 l.c., fig. 3) for Pakistan and in Freitag (1992, l.c., fig. 9) for its total area.
The species is often confused with Suaeda fruticosa, but it differs by the axillary tufts of curled hairs, in leaf anatomy and in flowering and fruiting stage by the thick, green bracteoles.
Dominant and forming very characteristic plant communities on vast surfaces at the edge of salt-marshes on episodically wet silty or sandy flats, often on sand sheets overlying salty clay, higher river terraces, in washes, ravines and slopes of tertiary marl rich in gypsum and other soluble salts; from sea level to 600 (-950) m.