3. Nitraria sibirica Pallas, Fl. Ross. 1: 80. 1784.
小果白刺 xiao guo bai ci
Shrubs 0.5-1.5 m tall, prostrate, arched, or rarely erect. Young branches white, sterile branches spiny at apex. Leaves in fascicles of 4-6 on current year branchlets; leaf blade oblanceolate, 6-15 × 2-5 mm, glabrous or pubescent when young, base cuneate, apex acute to obtuse. Cymes 1-3 cm, pubescent. Sepals 5, green. Petals yellowish green to nearly white, oblong, 2-3 mm. Fruit dark red, ellipsoid to spherical, 6-8 mm in diam., both ends obtuse; mesocarp dark blue to purplish. Stone ovoid, 4-5 mm, apex acute. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 24, 60.
Sandy areas in oases, saline sandy areas, sands along lakeshores; below 3700 m. Gansu, Hebei, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang [Mongolia, Russia].
The fruit is edible but not as good as the former species.