Gamanthus

Gamanthus

 

a genus of annual herbs of the family Chenopo-diaceae (goosefoot). The leaves are linear, semicylindrical, and fleshy. The bisexual, pentamerous flowers are borne by the axils of usually opposite bracts that are fused at their bases. Parts of the bracts that cover the fruits proliferate and harden. The perianth consists of five lanceolate membranous leaflets. There are five stamens; the anthers have yellow, bubble-like appendages.

There are seven species, distributed in Western and Middle Asia. The USSR has five or six species, growing in the Caucasus and Middle Asia. The best-known species is G. gamocarpus, which grows in Middle Asian deserts in takyrs, in saline sands, on rubbly slopes, and, sometimes, among plantings. It is valuable autumn-winter pasturage for camels and sheep.

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