Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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introduced; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. & Labr., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Mexico; Eurasia; naturalized Central America, South America, s Africa, Australia.
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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.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

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.
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Description

Herbs annual, 30-100 cm tall. Stem erect, branched from base, white, or purple-red striate, densely hispid or subglabrous. Leaves semiterete or terete, 1.5-4 cm × 0.5-1.5 mm, glabrous or hispid, base expanded, margin membranous at base, apex spinose mucronate. Inflorescence spikelike; bracts narrowly ovate, longer than bractlets, margin membranous at base, apex spinose mucronate; bractlets ovate, apex spinose mucronate. Perianth (including wings) 7-10 mm in diam. in fruit; segments narrowly ovate, membranous, hardened in fruit, abaxially 1-veined and winged from middle, glabrous; portion of segment above wing connivent with others and enclosing utricle, subleathery, apex membranous; 3 wings sometimes light purple-red, reniform or obovate, larger; other 2 wings narrower. Stigmas filiform, 3-4 × as long as style. Seed horizontal, ca. 2 mm in diam. Fl. Aug-Sep, fr. Sep-Oct.
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Description

Herbs, (5-)10-100 cm, sparsely papillose to hispid or glabrous. Stems erect, rarely ascending, profusely branched from or near base (rarely simple in underdeveloped specimens); branches arcuate, proximal ones occasionally ± prostrate. Leaves alternate; blade filiform or narrowly linear, less than 1 mm wide in herbarium specimens, not fleshy, not swollen at base, apex subspinescent (spine less than 1.5 mm). Inflorescences interrupted at maturity (at least proximally), 1-flowered (rarely 2-3-flowered with lateral flowers mostly abortive); bracts alternate at maturity, not imbricate, reflexed, not distinctly swollen at base, ± abruptly narrowing into mucronulate-spinose apex. Flowers: bracteoles distinct or occasionally connate at base in proximal flowers; perianth segments with prominent, membranous wing at maturity (two inner wings usually much smaller than the other three), apex weak, obtuse to weakly acuminate or reflexed, glabrous; fruiting perianth ca. 4-10 mm diam. 2n = 36.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

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.
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Synonym

Salsola australis R. Brown; S. dichracantha Kitagawa; S. iberica (Sennen & Pau) Botschantzev ex Czerepanov; S. kali Linnaeus var. angustifolia Fenzl; S. kali var. pseudotragus G. Beck; S. kali subsp. ruthenica Soó; S. kali var. tenuifolia Tausch; S. kali var. tragus (Linnaeus) Moquin-Tandon; S. pestifer A. Nelson; S. ruthenica Iljin, nom. illeg. superfl.; S. ruthenica var. filifolia A. J. Li; S. tragus subsp. iberica Sennen & Pau.
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Synonym

Salsola australis R. Brown; S. iberica (Sennen & Pau) Botschantzev ex Czerepanov; S. kali var. tenuifolia Tausch ex Moquin-Tandon; S. pestifer A. Nelson
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Type Information

Isotype for Salsola tragus L.
Catalog Number: US 1525945
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): Bro. Elias
Year Collected: 1906
Locality: Miranda de Ebro, Lieux Vagues., Castille, Spain, Europe
  • Isotype: Sennen, F. & Pau, C. 1908. Bull. Acad. Int. Geogr. Bot. 18: 476.
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Ecology

Habitat

Disturbed areas, roadsides, cultivated fields, coastal and riparian sands, semideserts, deserts, eroded slopes; 0-2500m.
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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.

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Habitat & Distribution

Dunes, sandy places, rocky places in Gobi desert, valleys, seashores. N Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Xizang [native to C and SW Asia and SE Europe; now widely naturalized in S Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America].
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-fall.
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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: July-September.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Salsola ruthenica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Salsola tragus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Salsola ruthenica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Notes

Comments

In its present circumscription, Salsola tragus still remains an extremely polymorphic species probably consisting of several distinct races (subspecies or even segregate species). Studies of allozymes and DNA markers in some North American and Eurasian representatives of S. tragus also indicate that there are several cryptic, genetically divergent populations (Ryan & Ayres, Canad. J. Bot. 78: 59–67. 2000). Several varieties and forms have been recognized within S. tragus, but they are mostly morphological variants of little or no taxonomic value.
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Comments

Salsola tragus probably was introduced to South Dakota in 1870 or 1874 in flaxseed imported from Russia (J. C. Beatley 1973c; C. W. Crompton and I. J. Bassett 1985; S. L. Mosyakin 1996). Now this noxious weed occupies almost all of its potential range in North America. It seems, however, to be quite rare in the southeastern part of the United States. 

 Salsola tragus has been known in North American and European botanical literature under numerous names (for detailed synonymy see S. L. Mosyakin 1996 and S. Rilke 1999). Judging from the photographs of the Linnaean specimen of S. tragus (LINN 315.3), which should be regarded as a lectotype, it is the correct name for the widespread, narrow-leaved, weedy representative of the S. kali aggregate (Á. Degen 1936-1938, vol. 2; N. N. Tzvelev 1993; S. L. Mosyakin 1996; S. Rilke 1999).

In the present circumscription, Salsola tragus is an extremely polymorphic species consisting of several more or less distinct races (subspecies or segregate species). Several varieties may be recognized within S. tragus, many of them are just morphological variants of little or no taxonomic value.

Studies using allozymes and DNA-based molecular markers in some North American and Eurasian representatives of Salsola tragus indicate that there are at least two cryptic genetically divergent populations (F. J. Ryan and D. R. Ayres 2000). More studies may clarify distribution, origin, and taxonomic status of these infraspecific taxa (or cryptic species).

In spite of being a noxious weed, Salsola tragus is an additional forage source for livestock in arid rangelands. The mature plant may break off at the stem base to form a tumbleweed.

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Comments

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.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Has also been called Salsola australis and Salsola ibirica; treated by Kartesz (1994 checklist) as a single species under the name Salsola kali (ssp. kali). LEM 6Dec94. Salsola kali ssp. tragus is treated as the separate species S. tragus by Kartesz (1999).

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