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



Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek: fleshy bramble)


S. vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.

Shrub 5–30 dm, often rounded, generally monoecious
Stems yellowish to light gray; twigs short, spreading, rigid, often spine-tipped
Leaves opposite below, alternate above, deciduous; blades 5–28 mm, ± linear, subcylindric, entire, fleshy, glabrous to hairy
Inflorescence: spike, 5–19 mm, cylindric, dense, catkin-like; staminate flowers generally many, spirally arranged, bracts peltate; pistillate flowers 1–3, below staminate flowers, bract leaf-like
Staminate flower: perianth 0; stamens 2–3
Pistillate flower: perianth cup-like, in fruit winged, 4–8 mm wide, persistent; ovary half-inferior
Fruit 4–5 mm, conic above wing, ± glabrous
Ecology: Alkaline soils, dry lakes, washes, scrub
Elevation: 100–2100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to w Canada, Great Plain, n Mexico
Flowering time: May–Aug
Synonyms: var. baileyi (Coville) Jeps
Horticultural information: STBL.

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