3. Salsola montana Litvinov, Nov. Gorn. Solj. 3. 1917; Iljin in Fl. SSSR 6: 240. 1936; Soskov in Ovcz., Fl. Tadzh. SSR 3: 389. 1968; Pratov in Consp. Fl. As. Med. 3: 95. 1968; Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 13: 79. 1976; Freitag in Ali & Ghaffar (eds.), Pl. Life S Asia 77. 1991; Czerepan., Vasc. Pl. Russia States 187. 1995; Freitag in Rech.f. (ed.), Fl. Iran. 172: 170. 1997. (Figs. 28, A; 30, A-D).
S. maracandica Iljin in Bot. Zhurn. SSSR 18: 276. 1933; Iljin in Fl. SSSR 6: 240. 1936; S. masenderanica Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 11: 173. 1974; Botsch. l.c. 13: 83. 1976; S. oreophila Botsch. in Bot. Zhurn.SSSR 60: 1159, 1975; Botsch. in Novosti Sist. Vyssh. Rast. 13: 81. 1976; Ikonn., Opred. Vyssh. Rast. Badakhsh. 141. 1979; S. botschantzevii Kurbanov, Bot. Zhurn. SSSR 68: 237. 1983; Czerepan., Vasc. Pl. Russia States 187. 1995.
Subshrub, (15)20-30 cm high; glabrous, rarely papillose. Stem up to 1.5 cm thick, with grey, fissured bark; richly branched below and just above the base; woody branches erect, ascending or prostrate. Annual shoots erect, soon becoming woody and turning to milky white colour, almost unbranched, terminating in a narrow spike, or in upper part branched, the ascending laterals forming a compound, paniculate inflorescence. Leaves ascending, often + incurved, 5-15(20) x 1-1.5 mm, semi-terete or terete, often glaucous or purplish, indistinctly apiculate, basal constriction 0,5-1 mm long, axils with scattered, caducous hairs. Bracts leaf-like, (2)5-10(15) mm long, semi-terete, the lower longer than bracteoles and tepals, the upper as long as or shorter, often with ± clavate blade, incurved, at base sheathing with hyaline margins. Bracteoles cucullate, c. 1mm shorter than tepals, ovate or almost circular in outline, 1.3-1.5(2) mm long and wide, apiculate with a green, succulent, keeled back, only the lowermost sometimes longer and similar to upper bracts. Tepals ovate, firm, 2.5-3.2 mm long, the outer 1.5-2 mm wide, 5-veined, the inner 3(2)-veined, in upper half unveined, with wide hyaline margins, glabrous, apex broadly obtuse, crenulate, green blotch narrow triangular, transverse line at 1/2, glabrous. Anthers 1.5-2 mm long, linear, triangular or sagittate, divided up to 1/2; appendage minute, 0.2-0.3 mm long and wide, obtuse; filaments band-shaped, 2 x 0.5 mm; disc thick, with semi-circular, 0.5-0.6 mm long lobes, glabrous. Style thick, conical, 0.3-0.6 mm long; stigmas 2(3), 0.8-1.2 mm long, recurved, inside densely covered with short papillae, at the apex throughout so. Fruiting perianth 7-10 mm diam., wings overlapping, subequal, straw-coloured; tepals above the wings with a narrow thickened bulge evenly incurved to an open dome or erect, the utricle partially exposed; lower part of tepals forming a flat bowl-shaped structure, only the veins somewhat hardened, base flat with 5 shallow grooves. Seed 2-2.5 mm diam., horizontal.
Fl. Per.: August-September.
Lectotype: [Uzbekistan, Fergana] Alay Mts., near Ljangar, Margelan distr., rocky slopes, c. 2400 m, 31. 07. 1897, S.I. Korshinsky 4742; (LE!), iso- (LE!), Botsch., 1976.
No information is available for Pakistan, but in adjacent Afghanistan S. montana is a quite common species of semi-deserts in higher mountain areas from 1200-3000 m. Just W of Waziristan, near Urgun, it grows at 2300m.
A most typical species of dry montane belts in the Irano-Turanian area; Distribution: From NW Iran through the Elburz, Hindukush and Pamir Alaj to Pamir and Tian Shan, southwards to the high plateaus in NE Baluchistan.
Only three gatherings have been made as yet - 2 in juvenile sprouting stage and one with flower buds. In that stage it is not easy to separate S. montana from the related species S. makranica and S. arbuscula. However, the latter differs by a much higher stature with divaricate and ± spiny branches, and the first by the different leaf base. The Jafri specimen was identified already by the late Dr. Bochanzev (see also the discussion in Freitag, 1991).