Stocks Saltwort
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Stocks Saltwort
P Native Photo: Ankush Dave
Common name: Stocks Saltwort • Hindi: सज्जीखार Sajjikhar, Barilla
Botanical name: Seidlitzia stocksii    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Salsola stocksii, Haloxylon stocksii

Stocks Saltwort is a shrub that is very variable in habit, up to 90 cm or more tall. It is named in the honor of John Ellerton Stocks. The plant is often straggling, hairless, powdery, dark-brown, paniculately branched; branches divaricate, spreading, strict or recurved, ending in strict spikes, 5-15 cm long. Segments are 6-20 mm long, shorter in inflorescence region. Leaves are distinct, 5-8 x 1-2 mm, trigonous or semiround, stalkless, ovate-subulate or ellipsoid to oblong, blunt or pointed; young leaves sometimes up to 2.5 cm long. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils forming interrupted spikes; bracts almost equalling the flowers, slightly exceeding the bracteoles; bracteoles ovate, pointed, thick, fleshy. Fruiting perianth is about 6 mm in diameter, including wings, scarious. Stocks Saltwort is found in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Punjab, Rajasthan, and grows in sandy soil. Barilla (Sajji) is manufactured after burning dried plants and collecting its juice in a wide hole at the base. The plant is appreciated as fodder for camels. Flowering: October-December.
Medicinal uses: Stocks Saltwort is used in various ways to treat toothache, constipation and hair problems.

Identification credit: Ankush Dave Photographed in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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