Calligonum pallasia L'Hér.
Calligonum polygonoides Pall.
Pallasia caspica L.f.
Pallasia polygonoide Pall.
Pallasia pterococcus Pall.
Pterococcus aphyllus Pall.
Calligonum aphyllum is an evergreen shrub growing up to 2 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Eurasia - eastern European Russia to the Caucasus, western Siberia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and western China
Sandy soils in dry arid regions[
]. Mobile or semi-mobile sandhills, sandy desert-steppes at elevations up to 600 metres[
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Calligonum aphyllum grows in arid to semi-arid regions where winters can be very cold. It is unlikely to be killed by cold, but is very susceptible to wet weather, especially in the colder months of the year.
Requires a dryish sunny position and a sandy loam[
]. Plants are tolerant of extreme cold but they are impatient of shade or excessive moisture[
Young shoots - cooked[
An edible gum or mucilage is obtained from the leaves[
The pounded root furnishes an edible mucilaginous substance resembling gum tragacanth (see Ferula species)[
One report says that the plant has an edible fruit[
]. This possibly refers to the seed.
We have no more specific information for this species, but the vaarious species of Calligonum, growing mainly in the sandy deserts of Central Asia, often provide the only available source of fuel. They have also long been highly appreciated as planting material for the fixation of shifting sand. Young fruits of some species of the section Pterococcus are used for food, while ripe fruits have weak tanning properties. The hard wood of the taller species is sometimes used for the production of miscellaneous articles[
Seed - very easy[
]. The seed is probably best sown in a sunny position in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in early summer of the following year.