Anabasis (plant)

Anabasis is a genus of plants in the subfamily Salsoloideae of the family Amaranthaceae. It is distributed in southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia.

-0591 Anabasis articulata, désert d'Almeria, Espagne P1110397.JPG
Anabasis articulata, fruiting
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Salsoloideae
Tribe: Salsoleae
Genus: Anabasis

29 species, see text

  • Brachylepis C.A.Meyer
  • Esfandiaria Sharif & Aellen
  • Fredolia (Coss. & Durieu ex Bunge) Ulbr.


The species of genus Anabasis are annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs. Their stems are fleshy and articulated, mostly glabrous with the exception of hairy tufts at the nodes, rarely with papillae-like trichomes or woolly. The opposite leaves may be reduced to small scales or normally developed.[1]

The inflorescences are elongated or condensed spikes. The bisexual flowers are sitting solitary or in groups of up to 4 in the axils of upper leaves (bracts), with 2 paired bracteoles. Flowers consist of 5 subequal membranous perianth segments, that are free nearly from base; 3-5 stamens without appendages; and an ovary with 2-3 thick and short stigmas.[1]

In fruit, prominent membranous wings develop on the back of the perianth segments, usually 2-3 of them larger than the others. Rarely, the perianth remains unwinged. The fruit may be baccate or dry, either vertical and compressed or nearly spherically shaped. The lenticular seed is vertically orientated, filled by the spiral embryo without endosperm.[1]


The genus Anabasis is distributed from Southwest Europe and North Africa, the shores of the Red Sea (Ethiopia) to Southwest Asia and Central Asia. The center of diversity lies in Asia. Anabasis species grow in steppes and semideserts.[1]


The genus name Anabasis was published in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum.[2] Type species is Anabasis aphylla L.

The genus Anabasis belongs to the tribe Salsoleae s.s., in the subfamily Salsoloideae of the family Amaranthaceae (which includes the family Chenopodiaceae). According to Akhani et al. (2007),[3] the genus comprises 29 species:


The Nicotine-related alkaloid Anabasine was named for the toxic Central Asiatic species Anabasis aphylla - from which it was first isolated by Orechoff and Menschikoff in the year 1931. It was widely used as an insecticide in the former Soviet Union until 1970.[4] Anabasine is also the active principle responsible for deaths from poisoning caused by the leaves of Nicotiana glauca, the Tree Tobacco.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d I.C.Hedge (1997): Anabasis. - In: Karl Heinz Rechinger et al. (Hrsg.): Flora Iranica, Vol. 172 - Chenopodiaceae. Graz, Akad. Druck, p. 305-306.
  2. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1753): Species Plantarum, p.223, scanned at BHL
  3. ^ Hossein Akhani, Gerald Edwards & Eric H. Roalson: Diversification Of The Old World Salsoleae S.L. (Chenopodiaceae): Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis Of Nuclear And Chloroplast Data Sets And A Revised Classification, in: International Journal of Plant Sciences, 168 (6), 2007, p. 931–956
  4. ^ Ujváry, István, Pest Control Agents from Natural Products - Chapter 3 of Hayes' Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology ( Third Edition ), ed. Robert Krieger, pub. Academic Press 2010.
  5. ^ Mizrachi, N.; Levy, S.; Goren, Z. Q. (2000). "Fatal Poisoning from Nicotiana glauca Leaves: Identification of Anabasine by Gas-Chromatography / Mass Spectrometry". Journal of Forensic Sciences. 45 (3): 736–41. PMID 10855991.


External linksEdit

  1. ^ Alexander P. Sukhorukov: "Fruit anatomy of the genus Anabasis (Salsoloideae, Chenopodiaceae)", in: "Australian Systematic Botany", 21 (6), 2008, p. 431-442