Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss. - Common Salt Tree, Russian Salt Tree.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl., genus Halimodendron Fisch.


Robinia halodendron Pall., Caragana argentea Lam., Halimodendron argenteum DC.

Morphology and biology.

Branched, very thorny shrub 0.5-2 m tall, with fulvous-brown bark, glabrous or silvery pubescent. Leaves paripinnate, of 1-3(5) pairs of glaucous-green oblong-obovate leaflets and prickly rachis, the latter turning into a thorn 5-7 on perennial branches; stipules subulate, prickly. Peduncles axillary, short, raceme 3-4 cm long and wide. Flowers on pedicels, by 1-3, calyx urceolate-campanulate, with 2 lanceolate bracteoles, persistent, with 5 short broadly triangular teeth. corolla pink or rarely white, standard suborbicular, keel bent. Stamens unequal, upper one free, ovary stipitate. Fruit an inflated glabrous coriaceous wrinkles pod, unilocular, dehiscent, on stalk 3-5 mm long, with bent short cusp at apex; seeds glabrous, brown, reniform, 2-3 mm long. Flowers in May, fruits in June. Cross-pollinated entomophilous plant. 2n=16.


Black Sea area (cultivated and escaped), Lower Don (cultivated and escaped), Caucasus (south), Central Asia, southwestern West Siberia.


Occurs in steppes, sandy and clayey deserts, near springs and in closed depressions, in river valleys and on shingles, in tugai (riverine) forests and on salted soils, on salted sands of sea coasts, in mountains on dry slopes up to lower montane zone. Drought- and salt-resistant plant. Forms extensive dense thickets.

Economic value.

Ornamental plant, suitable for desert landscaping, making green hedges, shelter belts, grows on very salted soils. Melliferous. Forage (in autumn and winter, leaves and fruits are eaten by camels, goats and sheep).


Gorshkova SS. 1945. Salt Tree - Halimodendron Fisch. In: Shishkin BK., ed. 1945. Flora URSS. V.11. P.323-324. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1952. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.5. P.239-240. (In Russian).
Koropachinskiy IYu., Vstovskaya TN. 2002. Woody plants of the Asian part of Russia. Novosibirsk: Publishing House of Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Science, Branch "Geo". 707 p. (In Russian).
Kurochkina LYa., Osmanova LT., Karibaeva KN. 1986. Forage plants of Kazakhstan deserts. Alma-Ata. 208 p. (In Russian).
Vassilyeva LI. 1987. Salt Tree - Halimodendron Fisch. ex DC. In: Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., eds. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. P.37-39. (In Russian).
Polozhij AV., Malyshev LI., eds. 1994. Flora of Siberia. V.9. Fabaceae (Leguminosae). Novosibirsk: Nauka. 280 p. (In Russian).
Pavlov NV., ed. 1961. Flora of Kazakhstan. V.2. Alma-Ata. 515 p. (In Russian).

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