Calligonum aphyllum (Pall.) Guerke - Leafless Calligonum.

Taxonomic position.

Family Polygonaceae Juss. genus Calligonum L.

Morphology and biology.

Shrub 1-1.5 m tall with tap root, less often with rhizome and tap root, forming system of 3-7 (very rarely up to 87) partial shrubs, with branches broken-flexuous at angle of 60-80°, with red-brown bark on old branches. Herbaceous shoots glabrous. Leaves 20-30(50) mm long, green. Flowers in twos in sheath axils. Pedicels glabrous. Perianth white, glabrous. Stamens 15 with red anthers. Fruits 9-24 mm long, medium-sized, less often large or small, light yellow or red when young, light brown or dark brown when mature. Wings 2-crested, soft, broadly elliptic on very short (0.5-1.5 mm) ribs or oblong-elliptic on long (1.5-3 mm) ribs, glabrous, less often near margin with simple laminat, 1-4 mm long; less often setaceous appendages; margins closed on all sides, so nutlet is not visible, or open beneath or above, or beneath and above, or on all sides, straight, less often with revolute or convolute margins, with smooth, less often transversely undulated surface, with finely dentate, less often entire or double-dentate margins. Wing halves not fused at ends, less often 1-3 mm fused at lower, upper or both ends boat-like, hence the fruit has triangular or short cylindrical outline. Nutlet poorly twisted, less often intensely twisted by angle up to 180°, or not twisted. Flowers in May, fruits in June. 2n=36.


European part of the former USSR (Caspian Lowland, Kalmykia), Kazakhstan.


In typical sandy desert on small-hillocky, half-fixed and fixed sands, at feet of barkhan dunes and sandy ridges.

Use and economic value.

Land-improving plant.


Sokolov SI., Svjaseva OA., Kubli VA. 1980. Ranges of trees and shrubs of the USSR. V.2. Leningrad: Nauka. 144 p. (In Russian).
Soskov YuD. 1988. The genus Calligonum L. (systematics, geography, evolution). Thesis Doct. Biol. Sci. Leningrad. 472 p. (In Russian).

© Yu.D.Soskov, L.L.Malyshev


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