The Salsola imbricata has small but beautiful white flowers

Salsola imbricata – An icecream flora for camels

Salsola imbricata is a camel icecream species of plants

  • Modern botanical name: Caroxylon imbricatum
  • Common name Salso also as Saltwort 
  • The previous and common botanical name is Salsola imbricata

The flora is Halophytic in nature, commonly found on salty lands in arid ecosystems. The plant is a rich source of salts and a precious source of food for livestock, especially camels and goats, therefore I call it the ‘Camel Icecream plant specie‘ I have written many articles and have compiled my exploration work about the flora of the arid lands which are highly liked by the livestock, especially camels. 

  1. Plants that are Liked such as Icecream by the Camels – Part 1
  2. Plants that are Liked such as Icecream by the Camels. Part 2
  3. Dipterygium glaucum الصفروی, A Plant that is Liked such as Icecream by Camels and Goats. Part 4
  4. Camel’s Flower (زهر) Tribulus is the Precious Flora of the Arabian Desert~ A Camel Ice-cream Species. Series 5
  5. Fagonia arabica – the desert’s thorny herb and camel’s food of choice
  6. Camel, Desert, and the Umbrella Tree
  7. A Symbol of Resilience and Patience~The Acacia Tree of the Arabian Desert -شجرة السمرة

Where there is Salsola, there is the camel

All the communities with a camel culture have come across the Salsola flora. This plant has a widespread distribution across the desert belt of Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, southern Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and northwestern India.

Salsola imbricata bush in Alain, Abudhabi UAE
Salsola imbricata bush in Alain, Abudhabi UAE

In Pashtu, it is called Zumai found in Norther Balochistan and Souther Pakhtunkhwa. In all that region, there is a rich camel culture that is, unfortunately, disappearing because of the so-called development.

It unique in texture, full of water and salts
Salsola has a unique texture, full of water and salts

In Cholistan, it is called Lanni, the camels rely on this precious desert plant. It fulfills the camels’ salts, water, and other nutrients. It is found in all Thar and Thal deserts of South Asia.

Ethnoecological and ethnomedical importance

The Salsola imbricata has a tremendous potential to grow and flourish in very dry and salty environments. The flora is Halophytic and xerophytic in nature. The plant is used for many different ailments both in humans and animals. It is a good expectorant, mode refresher, and energizer because of its higher mineral/salt contents. It helps in digestion and is good for people with nausea and off food. It is also used for skin ailments and deworming. Some scientific work has revealed that flora is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

All the images provided in the gallery are shot in Alain, Abudhabi UAE.

1 thought on “Salsola imbricata – An icecream flora for camels”

  1. Thank you, Dr Raziq, for this interesting description and pictures of the beautiful plant that is loved by camels. It is important that this plant has medicinal uses, as nature heals. You will write if anything new is discovered about this plant, thank you.


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