Russian salttree [Halimodendron
halodendron (L.) Voss][Bayer code: none][CDFA list: A] Photographs
Map of Distribution
DESCRIPTION:Deciduous thorny shrubs,
spreading or erect, to 3 m tall. Plants colonize sites by producing new
shoots from lateral roots. Introduced from southeastern Russia and southwestern
Asia as an ornamental shrub.
SEEDLINGS:No information available.
PLANT:Branched from the base. Leaves compound,
evenly pinnate, typically with 4 leaflets, sometimes with 2 or
6 leaftlets, clustered on short spurs. Leaflets obovate to oblanceolate with
minutely pointed tips (long-acuminate). Branch tips modified into thorns.
Stipules modified into short spines.
and UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES:Roots penetrate
soil deeply. Lateral roots produce adventitious shoots. Roots associate
with nitrogen fixing bacteria.
FLOWERS:Flowers pea-like, red-purple to white with pale purple, 15-18
mm long, with 2-4 clustered on short spurs. Length of sepal lobes much shorter
than the length of the fused sepal tube (calyx). Stamens 10, with 9 filaments
fused into a tube.
and SEEDS:Pods inflated, not constricted
between seeds, woody, +/- oblong, 1.5-3 cm long, about 1 cm wide, on a
stalk 2-4 mm long, turning black at maturity and opening slowly to release
a few seeds.
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HABITAT:Cultivated and nearby sites, such as roadsides. Grows on the
steppes and in sandy soils near the ocean in its native habitat. Tolerates
DISTRIBUTION:At publication time, previous infestations in the Central Valley
(UC Davis Arboretum, Kern County Park) and central South Coast (Los Angeles
basin) have been eradicated. To 200 m (656 ft).
PROPAGATION/PHENOLOGY:Reproduces by seed and vegetatively from roots.
FAVORING/DISCOURAGING SURVIVAL:Shrubs cut
to the ground re-grow from roots.
SPECIES:Unlike Russian salttree,
camelthorn [Alhagi pseudalhagi (M. Bieb.) Desv.] has simple
leaves, thorns in the leaf axils, and reddish pods constricted
between seeds. Pods break apart between seeds, but do no open to release
seeds. In addition, camelthorn typically infests arid agricultural
lands and riverbanks in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, and southeast of the
Sierra Nevada (Inyo Co.), to 500 m (1650 ft).
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Prevention and control:
Russian salttree is a perennial, spiny, shrub native to Russia. It is an excellent
colonizer of semiarid, waste areas, and has been utilized in surface mining
reclamation projects in other states. There are no known infestations in California,
as previous eradication efforts at three locations were successful. The aggressive,
colonizing ability of this species is similar to camelthorn (Alhagi camelorum),
and any new infestations should be eradicated as rapidly as possible.
Russian salttree plants produce numerous seed pods that have been considered
good forage for livestock. Little is known in regards to the seed biology
of this species. However, seeds of a similar species, camelthorn, retain viability
following excretion by animals and may remain dormant for many years. Russian
salttree seeds may exhibit similar characteristics. Any new infestations should
be monitored for seedling emergence for several years. Livestock should be
removed from the site before seed pods are produced.
Russian salttree may also spread vegetatively. New plants arise from adventitious
buds on deep, lateral roots. It is nearly impossible to hand dig and remove
this type of root system, and regeneration from severed roots will likely
occur. Shoots may be repeatedly removed by cutting or mowing.
There is no available literature regarding chemical control of Russian salttree.
Spot treatments of systemic, nonselective, herbicides such as glyphosate will
control plant shoots and possibly kill some roots. Regrowth is likely from
well established root systems. Other broadleaf herbicides such as triclopyr,
2,4-D, and dicamba may provide similar results. Cut stump treatments with
glyphosate, imazapyr, or triclopyr may also control Russian salttree. Refer
to the herbicide labels for allowable application rates and precautions.