Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

CHENOPODIACEAE

GOOSEFOOT FAMILY

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

SUAEDA

SEA-BLITE, SEEPWEED

Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.

Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, glabrous to hairy
Leaves generally alternate; blade entire, sometimes cylindric or upper surface flat, fleshy, generally glaucous, tip acute or pointed
Inflorescence: cyme; clusters sessile, generally arrayed in compound spikes; bracts leaf-like or reduced; bractlets subtending flowers 1–3, minute, membranous; flowers 1–12
Flower generally bisexual; calyx radial or bilateral, lobes 5, rounded, hooded, keeled, horned, or wing-margined; ovary ± lenticular, rounded, conic or with a neck-like extension, stigmas 2–3(5)
Fruit: utricle, enclosed in calyx
Seed horizontal or vertical, lenticular or flat, of 2 kinds in some species
Species in genus: 115 species: worldwide, saline and alkaline soils
Etymology: (ancient Arabic name)
Reference: [Ferren & Whitmore 1983 Madroño 30:181–190]
Horticultural information: STBL.

Native

S. calceoliformis (Hook.) Moquin

HORNED SEA-BLITE

Annual < 8 dm, glabrous, glaucous
Stems prostrate to erect, 1–several; branches ascending or spreading, generally striped
Leaves often tightly ascending, < 40 mm, linear, sessile; upper surface flat, green or reddish
Inflorescence generally dense, branched; flowers 3–5 per cluster; bracts subtending branches = leaves; bracts subtending flowers < leaves, wider at base
Flower bilateral, 1–4 mm including horns; calyx lobes horned and ± keeled, ± wing-margined; ovary rounded to lenticular, stigmas generally 2, glabrous
Seed horizontal; lenticular form 0.8–1.7 mm, shiny, generally black; flat form 1–1.5 mm, dull, brown
Ecology: Dry, saline or alkaline wetland soils
Elevation: < 2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e Canada, Texas
Flowering time: Jul–Oct
Synonyms: S. depressa (Pursh) S. Watson var. erecta S. Watson; S. d. var. d. misapplied
Yellow-green plants (generally GB) with leaf base ± tapered, inflorescence generally open and slender, branches spreading, calyx lobes wing-margined have been called S. occidentalis S. Watson.

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