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

4. Suaeda aegyptiaca (Hasselq.) Zohary in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 55: 635. 1957; Stewart, Annot. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 227. 1972; Greuter, Burdet & Long, Med-Checklist ed.2, 1: 313. 1984; Freitag in Ali & Ghaffar, Pl. Life S Asia 90. 1991; Mandaville, Fl. East Saudi Arabia 82. 1990; Boulos in Miller & Cope, Fl. Arab. Penins. Socotra 1: 256. 1996; Akhani & Podlech in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 172: 135. 1997; Chaudhary, Fl. Kingd. Saudi Arabia 1: 175. 1999. - (Figs. 20, D1,2; 23, A-C1).

Chenopodium aegyptiacum Hasselq., Iter Palest. 460. 1757; Schanginia aegyptiaca (Hasselq.) Aellen in Rech.f., Fl. Lowland Iraq 195. 1964; Suaeda baccata Forssk. ex J.F. Gmelin in L., Syst. Nat. ed. 13: 503. 1791; Forssk., Fl. Aeg.-Arab. 69. 1774 (non rite publ.); Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm.227. 1972; Schanginia baccata (Forssk. ex J.F. Gmelin)Moq., Chenop. monogr. enum. 119. 1840; Boiss., Fl. Or. 4: 944. 1879; Aellen in Rech. f., Fl. Lowland Iraq 195. 1964; R.R.Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 227. 1972; Suaeda hortensis Forssk. ex J.F. Gmelin in L., Syst. Nat. ed. 13: 503. 1791; Forssk., ibid.. 71. 1775; Schanginia hortensis (Forssk. ex J.F.Gmelin) Boiss., Fl. Or. 4: 945. 1879.

Annual, 10-70(125) x 5-30(100) cm, very variable in shape, erect, ascending or decumbent, in living stage light green to fresh green, under stress conditions often yellowish, dried specimens pale green, never turning brown or blackish; glabrous. Stem richly and repeatedly branched, at base up to 5(10) cm thick, often becoming woody; in young condition pale green throughout, later turning whitish to cream-coloured, terete or delicately striate; branches erect or ascending, the lower often spreading, terminating in bracteate, loose or dense, shorter or longer spike-like inflorescences, in apical parts often flexuose. Leaves very succulent, (7)10-17(20) x 1-2.5 mm, semi-terete or terete, the lower linear or oblong, the upper narrow obovate to clavate, obtuse, at base attenuate into a short petiole, the lower straight, the upper arcuate, ascending to spreading with C4 anatomy and internal aqueous tissue. Bracts subclavate to clavate, arcuate, spreading, the lower much longer, the upper as long as or even shorter than floral and fruit clusters. Bracteoles 0,8-1 mm long, narrow ovate, trullate or triangular, acute or acuminate, the margins lacerate to toothed. Glomerules (1)5-30-flowered, inserted on very short axillary branches, sometimes fused for a very short distance with the petiole of the subtending bract. Perfect flowers weakly protandrous, fig-shaped, 2-2.5 x 2.5 mm; tepals very succulent, fused for 1/2-2/3, in the lowermost 1 mm forming a compact cone, higher up widened into a bowl-like structure, the tepal-lobes very succulent, incurved, green with hyaline margins, somewhat cucullate. Stamens 5, the thread-like filaments inserted on an epitepalous rim, after anthesis elongating up to 1,5 mm; anthers 0.6-0.7 x 0.5 mm, divided for c. 1/2. Ovary semi-inferior, in its lower, ovule-bearing part fused with the perianth, its upper part forming a ca. 1 mm long column or slender cone; stigmas (2)3(4), 0.7-1.2(1.5) mm long, with long papillae, inserted in the centre of the collar-like ovary apex. Fruiting perianth somewhat enlarged, up to 3 mm long, fig-shaped, often partly or completely spongy. Seeds vertical, 0.9-1.2 x 0.75-1 mm, 0.6-0.75 mm thick, slightly flattened, beak short; testa black, shining, smooth to delicately sculptured.

Fl. Per.: September-October.

Type: [Egypt] “Alexandria rudera prope maris Mediterranei litus”, prob. lost (see Freitag in Flora 183: 153, 1989).

The species prefers habitats which are temporarily wet, usually saline and subject to moderate to strong natural or anthropogenic disturbance. It grows in rather different plant communities and has been seen in various types of salt-marshes, along ditches and even as a weed in irrigated gardens and fields; from sea level to 1000(1800); Distribution: From N Libya and Cyprus eastwards to S Iran, S Afghanistan and Pakistani Baluchistan, southwards up to N Sudan and Yemen.


Depending on water supply, salinity, insolation and trampling effects, the morphology of the species is extremely variable, particularly with respect to growth form, branching system, shape of spikes, size, shape and succulence of leaves and bracts; individuals with thick and highly lignified stem base and tap-root might even assume the appearance of a perennial, but that was never confirmed by closer investigation.


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