Halophytes


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Related to Halophytes: Glycophytes

Halophytes

 

plants growing in soils with a high salt content; for example, those along the seashore or in salt marshes.

Halophytes are divided into three groups. (1) Salt plants (euhalophytes or true halophytes), the cells of which contain a protoplasm highly resistant to strong concentrations of salt (primarily sodium chloride and sodium sulfate), which they store in considerable quantities. They usually have fleshy leaves and stems. In the USSR prevalent salt plants are glasswort, herbaceous sea blite, and a number of desert semishrubs. (2) Crinohalophytes, which are able to excrete the salt accumulated in them by means of special glands covering the leaves and stems. In dry weather they are covered with a thick coating of salt, which is subsequently partly blown off by the wind and partly washed off by rain. This group includes such plants as sea lavender and tamarisk, which are found in semidesert and dry steppe regions. (3) Glycohalophytes, which have a root system absorbing only very little salt, so that no salt accumulates in their tissues. Among these are various wormwood plants that in the USSR cover vast expanses of salty semidesert. There are no real halophytes among cultivated plants, only plants having a greater or lesser resistance to salt.

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Pakistan has more than 6 million hectares of salt affected land and quinoa is tested as a facultative halophyte having super food characteristics.
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