Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual to tree, sometimes monoecious or dioecious, glandular or with bead-like hairs that collapse with age, becoming scaly or powdery
Stem often fleshy
Leaves generally alternate, entire to lobed; veins generally pinnate
Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, or spheric cluster, or flower 1; bracts 0–few
Flower: sepals 1–5, often 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused, generally persistent in fruit; petals 0; stamens 0–5; ovary generally superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, styles 1–3
Fruit: generally utricle
Seed 1, vertical (fruit compressed side-to-side) or horizontal (fruit compressed top-to-bottom)
Genera in family: 100 genera, 1300 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta , beets, chard; Chenopodium , quinoa)
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated in expanded Amaranthaceae



Annual to subshrub, glabrous
Stem generally many-branched, jointed; internodes green to glaucous, fleshy
Leaves opposite, sessile, ± decurrent; leaf pairs generally fused at base, clasping or together ring-like
Inflorescence: spike, terminal, cylindric, dense; bracts scale-like; flowers generally 3 per axil, sessile to sunken in axis
Flower: calyx bladder-like, slitted, ± deciduous in fruit; stamens generally 2; stigmas 2–3
Fruit: wall free from seed
Seed vertical
Species in genus: ± 13 species: ± worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: salt horn)
Needs further study.


S. europaea L.

Annual 8–25 cm, rounded to ovoid
Stem many-branched throughout; internodes 10–18 mm, 1–3 mm wide
Inflorescence 25–70 mm, 2–4 mm wide; lower bracts generally obtuse to rounded; central flower of a node above lateral flowers
Seed ± 1–2 mm, puberulent
Chromosomes: 2n=18,36
Ecology: Salt marshes, alkaline flats
Elevation: < 1200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Tehachapi Mountain Area, Central Coast, South Coast, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e US, Baja California, Europe
Plants with inflorescence internodes as long as wide have been called S. rubra Nelson
Horticultural information: STBL.

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