Haloxylon ammodendron (C.A.Mey) Bunge - Saxaul, Saksaul.

Taxonomic position.

Family Chenopodiaceae Less., genus Haloxylon Bge.


H. aphyllum (Minkw.) Iljin, Arthrophytum haloxylon Litw., A. aphyllum Litw.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial shrub or tree 1-5 m tall, branched, with grey bark and green or glaucous-green, elongate, rather juicy shoots 1.5-2 mm diameter, adpressed or drooping. Develops strong root system, growing several meters down and occupying ground volume as large as several cubic meters. Leaves underdeveloped, in a shape of opposite obtusate tubercles, with short hairs in axils. Flowers bisexual, very small, in axils of scale-like leaves, solitary, on short branchlets later accrescent into fragile vegetative shoots. Tepals ovate, scarious-translucent, forming obovate wings 8-10 spread. Fruit dark green, depressed above, with tubercle in the center, with a roll at margin about 2 mm diameter. Flowers in April, fruits in September.


Arid zone of Central Asia.


Xerophyte, halophyte. Among habitats there are foothill sandy-debris deserts, depressions with shallow ground water, dry beds of desert rivers, wormwood-meadowgrass loess-like deserts, subsaline sand fringes, solonchaks.

Use and economic value.

Plant of huge importance as a fuel in desert areas. Sand-fixing. Forage for sheep and camels.


Iljin MM. 1936. Genus Saxaul - Haloxylon Bge. In: Shishkin BK., ed. Flora URSS. V.6. Moscow; Leningrad. P.310-314. (In Russian).
Kurochkina LYa., Osmanova LT., Karibaeva KN. 1986. Forage plants of Kazakhstan deserts. Alma-Ata. 208 p. (In Russian).
Goloskokov VP., ed. 1969. Illustrated manual of the plants of Kazakhstan. V.1. Alma-Ata: Nauka. 644 p. (In Russian).
Bondarenko ON., Nabiev MM., eds. 1972. Manual of plants of Middle Asia. V.3. Tashkent. 268 p. (In Russian).
Sokolov SI., Svjaseva OA., Kubli VA. 1980. Ranges of trees and shrubs of the USSR. V.2. Leningrad: Nauka. 144 p. Map 8a. (In Russian).
Soskov YuD., Malyshev LL., Enhtuyaa L., Chantsalnyam D. 1990. Ecotypes of desert forage plants of Mongolia and their significance in selection. In: Collection of scientific papers on Applied Botany, Genetics and Plant Breeding. Leningrad: N.I.Vavilov All-Union Institute of Plant Industry. P.86-91. In Russian).
Fedchenko BA., ed. Flora of Turkmenia. V.2(2). Ashkhabad. 218 p. (In Russian).

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