Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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



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.


S. nigra (Raf.) J.F. Macbr.


Subshrub, shrub 2–15 dm, glabrous or hairy, glaucous
Stems spreading or erect, several, base generally woody; annual stems shiny, yellow-brown; branches spreading
Leaves ascending to widely spreading, generally not overlapping; petiole 1 mm; blade 10–30 mm, subcylindric to flat, linear to narrowly lanceolate, base narrow, yellow-green or red
Inflorescence generally open; clusters confined to upper stems; branches thin, 0.7–2 mm diam; flowers 1–12 per cluster; bracts generally < leaves
Flower bisexual or lateral pistillate, radial, 0.7–2 mm; calyx lobes rounded; ovary ± pear-shaped, stigmas 3, hairy-papillate
Seed horizontal or vertical, 0.5–1 mm, biconvex, shiny, black
Ecology: Interior and desert (rarely coastal), alkaline and saline places
Elevation: < 1600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Southwestern California, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert
Distribution outside California: to w Canada, Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: May–Sep
Synonyms: S. torreyana S. Watson including var. ramosissima (Standley) Munz; S. fruticosa (L.) Forssk. misapplied

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bioregional map for SUAEDA%20nigra being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Suaeda nigra
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