Kali (plant)

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Salsola kali detalle ramas.jpg
Kali tragus in fruit
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Salsoloideae
Tribe: Salsoleae
Genus: Kali

13 species; see text.

Kali is a genus of plants in the subfamily Salsoloideae in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. Common names of various members of this genus include tumbleweed for its wind-blown seed dispersal habit, and Tartar thistle[1] and Russian thistle for its origins.[1]

These species were previously part of the genus Salsola.


The type species of the genus is Kali turgidum. The genus consists of ca. 23 species:[2]

In 2014, Mosyakin et al. proposed to conserve Salsola kali (= Kali turgidum) as nomenclatoral type for the genus Salsola. If the proposal will be accepted, all species of genus Kali would belong to Salsola again.[9]

Invasive species[edit]

Several species, most notably the central Asian Kali tragus, are invasive species outside their native range. They have encroached into parts of North America, where they are listed as noxious weeds by the United States Department of Agriculture. The salt-tolerant genus was first reported in the United States around 1877 in Bon Homme County, South Dakota, apparently transported as a stowaway in flax seed exported by Ukrainian farmers. South Dakota proved too harsh and dry for growing flax, however, and by 1900 Kali had colonized as far west as the Pacific Coast. It was also actively introduced by the USDA as experimental food for cattle that could be grown in hard times during droughts. Palatability of the young shoots is considered to be fair. Cattle, sheep, and horses eat it if nothing better is available. Small rodents and pronghorn also graze on the young shoots. Kali thrives wherever land use has disturbed the soil. It can be seen in Death Valley, California, and in Colorado at elevations of 8500 feet (2600 m).



  1. ^ a b Vasey, G. (1892). "Report of the botanist". Report of the Secretary of Agriculture. United States Department of Agriculture. 1891: 341–58. 
  2. ^ Akhani H.; et al. (2007). "Diversification of the old world Salsoleae s.l. (Chenopodiaceae): molecular phylogenetic analysis of nuclear and chloroplast data sets and a revised classification". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 168 (6): 931–56. doi:10.1086/518263. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Brullo Cristian; Brullo Salvatore; Gaskin John F.; Giusso Gianpietro; Frederic Hrusa George; Salmeri Cristina. "A new species of Kali (Salsoloideae, Chenopodiaceae) from Sicily, supported by molecular analysis". Phytotaxa. 201 (4): 259. 
  4. ^ Brullo Cristian; Brullo Salvatore; Ilardi Vincenzo; Del Galdo Gianpietro Giusso (2015). "Kali dodecanesicum (Chenopodiaceae, Salsoloideae) a new species from Greece". Phytotaxa. 218 (1): 63. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.218.1.4. 
  5. ^ Galasso & Bartolucci: Informatore Botanico Italiano 46(1): 83. 2014. / Notula: 2070 (Kali macrophyllum, comb. nov.). In: Notulae alla checklist della flora vascolare italiana: 17 (2027-2070).
  6. ^ Kali monopterum, International Plant Names Index, accessed 15. January 2016.
  7. ^ Kali praecox, International Plant Names Index, accessed 15. January 2016.
  8. ^ Gutermann W (2011). "Notulae nomenclaturales 41–45. Neue Namen bei Cruciata und Kali sowie einige kleinere Korrekturen". Phyton (Horn). 51 (1): 98. 
  9. ^ Mosyakin Sergei L.; Rilke Sabrina; Freitag Helmut (2014). "(2323) Proposal to conserve the name Salsola (Chenopodiaceae s.str.; Amaranthaceae sensu APG) with a conserved type". Taxon. 63 (5): 1134–1135. doi:10.12705/635.15.