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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Amaranthaceae
Salsola kali

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 222 (1753).

Synonymy: S. australis R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 411 (1810); S. kali L. var. strobilifera Benth., Fl. Aust. 5:207 (1870); S. australis R. Br. var. strobilifera (Benth.)Domin, Biblthca Bot. 89:628 (1921); S. kali L. var. leptophylla Benth., Fl. Aust. 5:207 (1870); S. kali L. subsp. austroafricana Aellen, Mitt. Bot. München 4:27 (1961).

Common name: Buckbush, rolypoly, soft roly-poly, prickly saltwort.

Erect rounded annual c. 60 cm high, succulent when fresh, glabrous or hispid, often verrucose, sometimes woolly in the axils; leaves linear-subulate, decurrent, 10-30 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, semiterete, broad and slightly clasping at the base.

Floral leaves and bracteoles similar to foliage leaves or much broader at the base, equal to or exceeding the flowers; flowers in open or condensed spikes; perianth-segments 3-4 mm long, free, oblong, obtuse to acute, at first membranous but becoming cartilaginous; developing unequal obovate to reniform horizontal scarious wings 2-5 mm wide or these represented by pectinate protuberances.

Utricle hemispherical, truncate above; pericarp crustaceous above otherwise membranous.

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 279.

Distribution:    All mainland States.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Flowers and/or fruits: mainly May — Oct.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: A polymorphic species in which a number of subspecies and varieties have been recognised. At least some of the plants found in S. Aust. belong to S. kali subsp. ruthenica (Iljin)Soo (= S. australis R. Br. = S. kali subsp. austroafricana Aellen) while the variant with fruits congested into ovoid spikes has been named S. kali var. strobilifera Benth. S. kali in the strict sense has not been recorded from Australia.

Author: Not yet available

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