Calligonum polygonoides

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Calligonum polygonoides
Calligonum polygonoides.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Calligonum
Species: C. polygonoides
Binomial name
Calligonum polygonoides

Calligonum polygonoides, locally known as phog (Hindi: फोग), is a small shrub found in Thar desert areas, usually 4 feet to 6 feet high but occasionally may reach even 10 feet in height with a girth of 1 to 2 ft. [1] This plant is referred to as orta in old Arabic poetry. It commonly grows on dry sandy soils and on sand dunes. It is very hardy and being capable of growing under adverse conditions of soil and moisture. It is frost hardy. It produces root suckers and is easily propagated by cutting and layering.


It is found from arid and semi-arid areas of Thar desert in India and Pakistan at the east to the Goravan Sands State Reservation in Armenia, Azerbaijan (Nakhichevan), and Turkey (Aralykh, Igdir). It is becoming increasingly rare due to the demand for its roots, which are used to make charcoal. Overgrazing and sand mining are also having an effect. (Tadevosyan, 2001)


Its charcoal is used to melt iron. Its flowers, known as phogalo in Rajasthani, are used to prepare rayata.[1]

The plant is fed to cattle. It is an important part of the habitat for semi-desert wildlife.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c L R Burdak (1982): Recent advances in desert afforestation, Dehradun, p.56

Further reading[edit]

Media related to Calligonum polygonoides at Wikimedia Commons