6. Salsola tragus Linnaeus, Cent. Pl. 2: 13. 1756; Iljin in Fl. SSSR 6: 213. 1936; Pratov in Consp. Fl. As. Med. 3: 99. 1972; Tzvelev in Ukrayins´k. Bot. Zhurn. 50: 81.1993; Czerepan. Vasc. Pl. Russia States 188. 1995; Tzvelev in Fl. Eur. Or. 9: 82. 1996; Rilke in Bibl. Bot. 149: 111. 1999. (Figs. 25, A; 27, A1,2).
Vern.: Jághun, Soreh, Kalbahi.
S. australis R. Br., Prodr. 411. 1810; Ikonnikov, Opred. Vyssh. Rast. Badakhsh. 142. 1979; Czerepan., Vasc. Pl. Russia States 188. 1995; S. kali subsp. tragus (L.) Celak., Fl. Böhmen 2: 155. 1871; Aellen in Hegi, Ill. Fl. Mittel-Eur. ed.2, 3,2,1: 745. 1968; Aellen & Akeroyd in Fl. Eur. ed. 2: 127. 1993; Rilke in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 172: 180. 1997; S. kali var. tragus (L.)Moq. in DC., Prodr. 13,2: 187. 1849; S. kali L. sensu Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 17. 1886; Burkill, Work. List Flow. Pl. Baluch. 66. 1909; R.R. Stewart, Fl. Ladak 631. 1917; Blatter, Hallberg & McCann in J. Ind. Bot. Soc.1: 267. 1920; Pampanini, Fl. Caracorum 101. 1930; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 226. 1972 (p.p.); Mobayen, Fl. pl. vasc. Iran 2: 255. 1979; Dhar & Kachroo, Alp. Fl. Kashmir Himal. 166. 1983; Boulos in Miller & Cope, Fl. Arab. Penins. Socotra 1: 269. 1996; S. tragus subsp. iberica Sennen & Pau in Bull. Acad. Int. Géogr. Bot. 3. Ser. 18: 476. 1908; S. iberica (Sennen & Pau) Botsch., in Bot. Zhurn. SSSR 54: 991. 1969; Pratov in Consp. Fl. As. Med. 3: 97. 1972; S. kali subsp. iberica (Sennen & Pau) Rilke in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 172: 183. 1997; S. ruthenica Iljin in Sorn. Rast. SSSR 2: 137. 1934; Iljin in Fl. SSSR 6: 212. 1936; R. R. Stewart, l.c. 226, 1972; Li in Fl. Reip. Pop. Sin. 25,2: 186. 1979; Li in Fl. Xizang, 1: 644. 1983; Dhar & Kachroo, Alp. Fl. Kashmir Himal. 166. 1983; Liu in Fl. Desert. Pop. Sin. 1: 362. 1985; Mao in Fl. Xinjiang 2,1: 106. 1994; S. kali subsp. ruthenica (Iljin) Soó & Javorka Magyar Növ. Kéz. 2: 786. 1951; Aellen in Hegi, l.c. 743; Greuter, Burdet & Long, Med. Checklist ed. 2, 1: 309. 1984; Aellen & Akeroyd, l.c. 127; S. pestifer Nelson in Coulter, New Man. Bot. Rocky Mount. ed. 2: 169. 1909; Grubov, Pl. As. Centr. 2: 85. 1966; Soskov in Ovcz., Fl. Tadzh. SSR 3: 383. 1968.
Annual, (3)10-40(100) cm high, erect, more rarely procumbent, glaucous to green, rigid and spinescent, only young plants soft; hispidulous or glabrous, young plants often with prominent tufts of long axillary hairs; stem branched from base, branches ascending or spreading, terminating in elongated or condensed spikes. Leaves linear, 10-40(60) x 1-2(2.5) mm, ± succulent, in lower part semi-terete, in upper often terete, spine 1-1.5 mm long. Flowers solitary, the lower sometimes in highly condensed lateral spikes with enlarged and fused bracts and bracteoles producing wingless complex fruits. Bracts and bracteoles rigid, succulent, spreading. Bracts 4-10(15) mm long, up to 3x length of bracteoles, apically abruptly narrowed into a prominent, pungent, 1-1.5(2) mm long spine. Bracteoles 3-7(10) mm long, longer than flower, spine 1,5-2(2.5) mm long. Tepals narrow ovate to ligulate, 2-2.5(3) mm long, the outer 0.8-1.1 mm wide, 3-veined, midrib reaching up to the apex and sometimes shortly protruding, the inner 1-veined, without midrib in upper part, obtuse and erose-dentate, transverse line at 1/3-1/4, glabrous on back and margins. Anthers 0.8-1.3 mm long, including the minute triangular appendage, divided for 1/3-1/2; filaments 2-2.5(3) mm long; disc with very prominent lobes, lobes thick, semi-circular, sparsely papillose. Style 0.4-0,7(0.8) mm long, stigmas band-shaped up to the apex, 0.8-1.5 mm long, irregularely revolute, upper side densely covered with short papillae. Regular fruits winged, 6-8(9) mm diam., the 3 outer wings large, translucent, distinctly veined, the 2 inner much narrower and shorter, linear, coriaceous; tepal lobes above the wings at first bent together, thickened and hardened, their upper part more or less erect, papery, wrinkled, or 1-3 tepals spine-like, erect or ± horizontally covering the inner; tepals below the wings moderately hardened, forming a cup- to bowl-like structure, at base flat, with 5 shallow grooves. Utricle horizontal.
Fl. Per.: July-September.
Holotype: Linn. 315.3 (LINN)!; Degen, 1937.
Pluriregional; An extremely wide-spread, almost cosmopolitan species. From its primary habitats on naturally disturbed sites in S and SE Europe, SW and C Asia it managed to colonize all areas with warm temperate semi-arid climates, due to its most effective seed dispersal mechanisms and very high seed production.
Very common on almost all soil types including slightly to moderately saline habitats from 800-3500 m, preferably in and around settlements on ruderal sites, along roads and railway lines; less common on naturally disturbed habitats like borders of dry river beds, eroded slopes and cliffs; Distribution: From the Canary Islands, SW and W Europa to SE Sibiria and E China, northwards up to c. 55°, southwards to N Africa, SW Arabia, S Iran, Pakakistani Baluchistan, N India and Nepal; USA, S Canada, Chile, Argentine, S Africa, Tansania, Australia.
Because of its high polymorphism the taxonomic status of S. tragus was much debated. Considered as a fodder for camels, horses and sheep (Burkill 1909), but for the latter two in young stage only.