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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Amaranthaceae s.l.
Cladus: Chenopodiaceae s.str.
Subfamilia: Salsoloideae
Tribus: Salsoleae
Genus: Haloxylon

Accepted species: H. ammodendron – H. persicum

Names in synonymy: H. aphyllum – H. articulatum – H. eigii – H. elegans – H. floridum – H. gracile – H. griffithii – H. indicum – H. leptocladum – H. multiflorum – H. negevensis – H. pachycladum – H. ramosissimum – H. recurvum – H. regelii – H. salicornicum – H. schmittianum – H. schweinfurthii – H. scoparium – H. stocksii – H. subulifolium – H. tamariscifolium – H. thomsonii – H. wakhanicum

Haloxylon Bunge ex Fenzl, Fl. Ross. (Ledeb.) 3(2,11): 819. (1851)

Type: Haloxylon ammodendron (C.A.Mey.) Bunge. (Lectotype designated by: L.K.G. Pfeiffer 1873. Nomencl. Bot. 1(1): 1552).

Native distribution areas:

Northern Africa
Egypt (Eastern Desert)
Middle Asia
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Western Asia
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine (Israel, Jordan), Sinai
Arabian Peninsula
Gulf States (United Arab Emirates, Qatar), Oman, Saudi Arabia
Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Nei Mongol
Indian Subcontinent
Pakistan (Baluchistan)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Primary references

Fenzl, E. 1851. Salsolaceae. pp. 689–853. In: Ledebour, C.F.: Flora Rossica Vol. 3, Pars 2. BHL Reference page. : 819.
Bunge, A.v. 1852 ('1851'). Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Flor Russlands und der Steppen Central-Asiens (aus den Mémoires des savants étrangers Tome VII besonders abgedruckt). St. Petersburg: Buchdruckerei der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. [1–370 of the preprint, double pagination]. BHL - [Separate preprint from: Bunge, A.v. 1854. Alexandri Lehmann reliquiae botanicae; sive, Enumeratio plantarum in itinere per deserta Asiae Mediae ab A. Lehmann annis 1839-1842 collectarum. (Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Flora Russlands und der Steppen Central-Asiens. Erste Abtheilung). Mémoires présentées á l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St. Petersbourg par Divers Savans et lus dans ses assemblées 7: 181–536. BHL Reference page: 292 / 468.

Additional references

Hernández-Ledesma, P., Berendsohn, W. G., Borsch, T., Mering, S. v., Akhani, H., Arias, S., Castañeda-Noa, I., Eggli, U., Eriksson, R., Flores-Olvera, H., Fuentes-Bazán, S., Kadereit, G., Klak, C., Korotkova, N., Nyffeler R., Ocampo G., Ochoterena, H., Oxelman, B., Rabeler, R. K., Sanchez, A., Schlumpberger, B. O. & Uotila, P. 2015. A taxonomic backbone for the global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Willdenowia 45(3): 281–383. DOI: 10.3372/wi.45.45301 Open access Reference page.
Akhani, H., Edwards, G. & Roalson, E.H. 2007. Diversification of the Old World Salsoleae s.l. (Chenopodiaceae): Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of Nuclear and Chloroplast Data Sets and a Revised Classification. International Journal of Plant Sciences 168(6): 931–956. DOI: 10.1086/518263 ResearchGate Reference page. : 946.
Zhu, G., Mosyakin, S.L. & Clemants, S.E. 2004.
'eFloras 2008. Haloxylon in Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.


Hassler, M. 2019. Haloxylon. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Mar. 27. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Haloxylon. Published online. Accessed: Mar. 27 2019.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Haloxylon in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Mar. 27. Reference page. 2019. Haloxylon. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Mar. 27.
GBIF Haloxylon accessed 8 December 2015..

Vernacular names
العربية: رمث
azərbaycanca: Saksaul
беларуская: Саксаул
Deutsch: Saksaule
English: Saxauls
فارسی: تاغ
suomi: Saksaulit
հայերեն: Սաքսաուլ
ქართული: საქსაული
қазақша: Сексеуіл
lietuvių: Saksaūlas
polski: Saksauł
پښتو: بلنځه
русский: Саксаул
ไทย: สกุลฮาโลไซลอน
українська: Саксаул
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Saksovul
中文: 梭梭属, suo suo shu

Haloxylon is a genus of shrubs or small trees, belonging to the plant family Amaranthaceae. Haloxylon and its species are known by the common name saxaul. According to Dmitry Ushakov, the name borrowed from the Kazakh "seksevil". In modern Kazakh language, the shrub is called "seksewil". According to the school etymological dictionary, the name saksaul was borrowed in the 19th century from the Turkic languages.


The species of genus Haloxylon are shrubs or small trees 1–8 metres (3.3–26.2 ft) (rarely up to 12 metres (39 ft)) tall, with a thick trunk and many branches. The branches of the current year are green, from erect to pendant. The leaves are reduced to small scales. The inflorescences are short shoots borne on the stems of the previous year. The flowers are very small, as long or shorter than the bracteoles, bisexual or male. The two stigmas are very short. In fruit, the perianth segments develop spreading wings. The fruit with wings is about 8 millimetres (0.31 in) in diameter. The seed is about 1.5 mm (0.06 in) in diameter.[1]

The genus Haloxylon is distributed in southwest and Central Asia, from Egypt to Mongolia and China (Sinkiang and Kansu), where it grows in sandy habitats (psammophyte).[1]

The genus name Haloxylon was published by Alexander Bunge (ex Eduard Fenzl) in 1851, with the type species Haloxylon ammodendron.

The genus belongs to the subfamily Salsoloideae in the family Amaranthaceae, It consists of only 2 species:[2]

Haloxylon ammodendron (C.A.Mey.) Bunge ex Fenzl. (Synonym: Haloxylon aphyllum[3]) – black saxaul
Haloxylon persicum Bunge ex Boiss. – white saxaul

Phylogenetic research revealed that several species formerly included in Haloxylon are not related to this genus. They are now classified to genus Hammada, with exception of the former Haloxylon stocksii (syn. Haloxylon recurvum), which has been moved to Salsola stocksii.[2]

The common name saxaul, sometimes sacsaoul or saksaul, comes from the Russian саксаул (saksaul), which is from Kazakh сексеуiл (seksewil).

In the deserts of Central Asia, a large number of birds are associated with saxaul, including the saxaul sparrow.[4]

In the former bed of the Aral Sea, saxaul trees are being planted to stop the wind picking up contaminated sand from the dried up sea bed and spreading them through the atmosphere. The plan is to cover the entire former bed with a forest.[5]

Hedge, I. C. (1997). "Haloxylon". In Rechinger, Karl Heinz; et al. (eds.). Flora Iranica Bd. 172, Chenopodiaceae. Graz: Akad. Druck. pp. 315–326. ISBN 3-201-00728-5.
Akhani, Hossein; Edward, Gerald; Roalson, Eric H. (2007). "Diversification of the Old World Salsoleae S.L. (Chenopodiaceae): Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of Nuclear and Chloroplast Data Sets and a Revised Classification". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 168 (6): 931–956. doi:10.1086/518263. S2CID 86789297.
Maclean, Gordon Lindsay (1996). "Avian adaptations to deserts of the Northern and Southern hemispheres: a comparison" (PDF). Curtin University of Technology School of Environmental Biology Bulletin (17). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2010-02-16.

Qobil, Rustam. "Restoring life to the Aral Sea's dead zone". BBC. Retrieved 2 June 2018.

Pyankov, Vladimir I.; Black, Clanton C., Jr.; Artyusheva, Elena G.; Voznesenskaya, Elena V.; Ku, Maurice S.B.; Edwards, Gerald E. (1999). "Features of Photosynthesis in Haloxylon species of Chenopodiaceae that are Dominant Plants in Central Asian Deserts". Plant and Cell Physiology. 40 (2): 125–134. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.pcp.a029519.

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