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(glassworts), a genus of halophilic plants of the family Chenopodiaceae. These succulent, jointed annual or perennial herbs and shrubs have opposite branches and scalelike leaves. The flowers are usually gathered in threes and are embedded in the fleshy axis of the spicate inflorescence. The perianth is connate and fleshy.
There are about 35 species, distributed predominantly in warm-temperate, subtropical, and tropical zones. Three species are found in the USSR. S. europaea grows on the Baltic coast, in the central and southern zones of the European USSR, in the Caucasus, in Middle Asia, in southern Serbia, and in the Far East. It often forms a dense cover on moist solonchaks, solonchak shallows, seashores, solonchak meadows, and swamps. The plant is used as autumn-winter fodder for camels and sheep; in some places, for example, France, it is used as a seasoning or vegetable. The plant also serves as an insecticide, and its ashes contain potash.