4. Acantholimon Boissier, Diagn. Pl. Orient., ser. 1. 1(7): 69. 1846.
彩花属 cai hua shu
Armeriastrum (Jaubert & Spach) Lindley; Statice subgen. Armeriastrum Jaubert & Spach.
Shrublets, usually thorny, pulvinate, often subglobose, many-branched. Leaves borne on current year's branches, crowded, sessile, persistent on old branches after withering; spring leaves at base of current year's branches and similar or different from summer leaves; leaf blade linear, linear-needlelike, or linear subulate, usually very shallowly obdeltate to subcomplanate in cross section, apex usually pointed to awned. Inflorescences borne in axil of spring leaves at base of current year's branches, branched or unbranched; spikes pedunculate, with 2--8 spikelets, arranged in 2 rows, sometimes rachis undeveloped with spike or spikelets axillary; spikelets 1--5-flowered; bracts distinctly shorter than bractlet of first flower, margin membranous; first bractlet similar to bract, margin broadly membranous. Calyx funnelform or rarely subtubular; tube straight or occasionally basally oblique, inconspicuously herbaceous along ribs and scarious between ribs; limb purple, pink, or white, broad, scarious, 5- or 10-lobed. Corolla slightly exserted from calyx; petals basally slightly connate. Stamens adnate to corolla base. Ovary linear-cylindrical, apex attenuate. Styles 5, free, glabrous; stigmas depressed capitate. Capsules oblong-filiform.
About 190 species: C and SW Asia, Europe; 11 species in China.
Acantholimon fetisowii Regel has been reported from Xinjiang but this may be a misidentification.