Common Name: GOOSEFOOT FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub; hairs simple, stellate, or glandular; plants in several genera scaly, mealy, or powdery from collapsed glands; monoecious, dioecious, with bisexual flowers, or with both bisexual and unisexual flowers. Stem: occasionally fleshy. Leaf: blade simple, generally alternate, occasionally fleshy or reduced to scales, veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, spheric head, axillary clusters of flowers, or flowers 1; bracts 0--5, herbaceous, generally persistent or strongly modified in fruit, wings, tubercles or spines present or 0. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, generally green; calyx parts (1)3--5, or 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused basally (or +- throughout), leaf-like in texture, membranous, or fleshy, deciduous or not, often strongly modified in fruit; corolla 0; stamens 1--5, opposite sepals, filaments free, equal; anthers 4-chambered; ovary superior (1/2-inferior), chamber 1; ovule 1; styles, stigmas 1--4 (or stigmas sessile). Fruit: achene or utricle, generally falling with persistent calyx or bracts. Seed: 1, small, lenticular to spheric; seed coat smooth to finely dotted, warty, net-like, or prickly, margin occasionally winged.
Genera In Family: 100 genera, 1500 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, beet, Swiss chard; Spinacia oleracea L., spinach; Chenopodium quinoa Willd., quinoa); and some worldwide, naturalized ruderal or noxious agricultural weeds. Note: Nitrophila treated in Amaranthaceae, Sarcobatus treated in Sarcobataceae. Key to genera revised by Elizabeth H. Zacharias to incorporate Extriplex and Stutzia, 2 genera segregated from Atriplex.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, family description, key to genera, revised by Thomas J. Rosatti & Elizabeth H. Zacharias
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Common Name: SALTBUSH, ORACH
Habit: Generally monoecious annual, to generally dioecious shrub, generally scaly. Leaf: generally alternate, distal +- reduced; blade entire to variously dentate; anatomy Kranz or non-Kranz (see note). Inflorescence: axillary or terminal. Staminate Inflorescence: spheric cluster to spike-like or panicle; bracts 0. Pistillate Inflorescence: cluster to spike- or panicle-like, occasionally 1; bracts 2 per fruit, enlarged in age, free to variously fused, generally compressed, generally sessile, falling with fruit (or not). Staminate Flower: calyx lobes 3--5; stamens 3--5. Pistillate Flower: calyx generally +- 0; stigmas 2. Seed: generally erect.
Species In Genus: +- 250 species: temperate to subtropics worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: name derived from Greek) Note: Generally in alkaline or saline soils; some weedy; some accumulate selenium. Bract descriptions refer to 2 bracts surrounding flower, enlarging in fruit. Australian Atriplex crassipes J.M. Black possibly in SCo. In this revised taxonomy, Atriplex californica, Atriplex joaquinana moved to Extriplex, Atriplex covillei to Stutzia, both new genera [Zacharias & Baldwin 2010 Syst Bot 35(4):839--857]. Kranz anatomy (observable at 10 ×, sometimes only after scraping off scaly, mealy, or powdery layer) characterized by veins that are darker green than rest of leaf, due to higher concentrations of chloroplasts in bundle-sheath cells surrounding veins.
eFlora Treatment Author: Elizabeth H. Zacharias
Common Name: FOUR-WING SALTBUSH
Habit: Shrub 3--25 dm, erect; branches many. Stem: branches spreading to ascending. Leaf: blade linear to oblanceolate, densely white-scaly; Kranz. Pistillate Inflorescence: terminal; bracts in fruit 4--25 mm, generally fused to near tip, ovoid to spheric, hard, wings 4, 3--6 mm wide, entire to wavy or deeply sharp-dentate. Seed: 1.5--2.5 mm.
Note: Varieties intergrade.