The Salsoloideae are a subfamily of the Amaranthaceae, formerly in family Chenopodiaceae.

Salsola oppositifolia.JPG
Salsola oppositifolia, in fruit
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Salsoloideae

About 35 genera, see text


These are herbs, subshrubs, shrubs and some trees. Stems and leaves are often succulent. The ovary contains a spiral embryo. In most genera, scarious wings develop at the outside of the fruiting perianth, allowing for dispersal by the wind (anemochory). In tribe Caroxyleae, the stamens have vesiculose anther appendages, discolor with anthers, that probably play a role for insect pollination. In tribe Salsoleae the anther appendages are absent or small and inconspicuous.


The area with most species (center of diversity) are the deserts and semideserts of Central-Asia and the Middle East. Distribution of the subfamily extends to the Mediterranean, to Middle-Europe, north and south Africa, and Australia, some species have also been introduced to America. Many species grow in dry habitats (xerophytes) or tolerate salty soils (halophytes), some are ruderals.

Photosynthesis pathwayEdit

Salsoloideae are C4 plants (with a few exceptions in tribe Salsoleae). Tribe Caroxyleae is exclusively of the NAD-malic enzyme C4 subtype. Most Salsoleae also use the NADP-malic enzyme.[1]


The type genus of subfamily Salsoloideae is Salsola L. According to recent research, the former classification did not reflect the phylogenetic relationship, so that the subfamily had to be reclassified; it is now split in two tribes, Caroxyleae and Salsoleae (in the strict sense).[2] The tribe Camphorosmeae is now treated in its own subfamily, Camphorosmoideae.[3]


Caroxyleae Akhani & E. H. Roalson (as "Caroxyloneae")[2]

  • Caroxylon Thunb., with 43 species
  • Climacoptera Botsch., with 41 species
  • Halarchon Bunge, with one species
    • Halarchon vesiculosum (Moq.) Bunge
  • Halimocnemis C. A. Mey., with 27 species (Syn. Gamanthus Bunge, Halanthium C. Koch, Halotis Bunge)
  • Halocharis Moq., with 7 species
  • Kaviria Akhani & E. H. Roalson, with 10 species
  • Nanophyton Less., with ca. 10 species
  • Ofaiston Raf., with one species
    • Ofaiston monandrum (Pall.) Moq.
  • Petrosimonia Bunge, with 12 species
  • Piptoptera Bunge, with one species
    • Piptoptera turkestana Bunge
  • Physandra Botsch., with one species
    • Physandra halimocnemis (Botsch.) Botsch.
  • Pyankovia Akhani & E. H. Roalson, with one species
    • Pyankovia brachiata (Pall.) Akhani & E. H. Roalson


Classification in subfamily not sureEdit

  • Iljinia Korovin, with one species:
    • Iljinia regelii (Bunge) Korovin


  1. ^ Pyankov, V.; Ziegler, H.; Kuz'min, A.; Edwards, G. (2001). "Origin and evolution of C4 photosynthesis in the tribe Salsoleae (Chenopodiaceae) based on anatomical and biochemical types in leaves and cotyledons". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 230 (1–2): 43–74. doi:10.1007/s006060170004. ISSN 0378-2697. S2CID 25370346.
  2. ^ a b Akhani, H.; Edwards, G.; Roalson, E.H. (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): 931–956. doi:10.1086/518263. ISSN 1058-5893. S2CID 86789297.
  3. ^ Kadereit, G.; Freitag, H. (2011). "Molecular phylogeny of Camphorosmeae (Camphorosmoideae, Chenopodiaceae): Implications for biogeography, evolution of C4-photosynthesis and taxonomy". Taxon. 60 (1): 51–78. doi:10.1002/tax.601006.

External linksEdit