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Vascular Plants of California
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Key to Atriplex

View taxon page for Atriplex

(For a list of species in Atriplex, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Shrub or subshrub; main stem clearly woody

2. Leaf length generally > 5 × width, margins fruit bracts together 4-winged or tips long, tubercles in vertical rows; branch tips not spiny

3. Fruit  tips long, tubercles in vertical rows; shrub or subshrub 1–6 dm ..... A. gardneri var. falcata

3' Fruit  together 4-winged from base to tip, tubercles 0; shrub 3–25 dm

4. Twigs generally slender; shrub 10–25 dm; leaves 10–35 mm, 1–3 mm wide; fruit bracts 4–8 mm, 4–6 mm wide ..... A. canescens var. linearis

4' Twigs generally not slender; shrub 3–20 dm; leaves 10–50 mm, 2–8 mm wide; fruit bracts 4–25 mm, 4–12 mm wide

5. Fruit bracts  to ; widespread ..... A. canescens var. canescens

5' Fruit bracts irregularly to deeply sharp-dentate; s CA

6. Plant generally 10–20 dm; fruit  6–12 mm, deeply sharp-dentate ..... A. canescens var. laciniata

6' Plant generally 3–15 dm; fruit  4–8 mm, irregularly  ..... A. canescens var. macilenta

2' Leaf length < 5 × width, margins  to fruit bracts not 4-winged, tubercled or not; branch tips spiny or not

7. Branch tips not spiny

8. Leaf margin sharply shrub 3–10 dm; fruit bracts free – SNE, D ..... A. hymenelytra

8' Leaf margin  to wavy or irregular-sparsely shrub or subshrub <= 40 dm; fruit bracts free to fused above middle

9. Shrub or subshrub < 5 dm; branches  to   – SCo, WTR; stem  ..... A. glauca

9' Shrub <= 40 dm; branches  to   to petioled

10. Plant < 15 dm;   narrowly  to  to  ..... A. amnicola

10' Plant 8–40 dm;    to  (± hastate)

11. Fruit bracts 4.5–9(12) mm, round to ± , generally tubercled ..... A. nummularia

11' Fruit bracts 2–6 mm,  to round or ± spheric, smooth

12. Twigs generally smooth, not striate ..... A. lentiformis (2)

12' Twigs generally sharp-angled, striate ..... A. torreyi var. torreyi (2)

7' Branch tips spiny – generally stiffly 

13. Fruit bracts 5–20(24) mm, margins wide, leaf-like

14. Fruit bracts ± free, wide-elliptic to ± round, few-dentate proximally distally ..... A. confertifolia

14' Fruit bracts fused ± to middle around fruit and spheric proximally and irregularly  distally ..... A. spinifera

13' Fruit bracts 2–6 mm, margins not wide and leaf-like

15. Distal leaves generally  to clasping ..... A. parryi

15' Distal leaves generally ±  to short-petioled

16. Leaf   to narrowly oblanceolate, 2–4 mm wide ..... A. polycarpa

16' Leaf   to  or ± , 10–50 mm wide

17. Twigs generally smooth, not striate ..... A. lentiformis (2)

17' Twigs generally sharp-angled, striate ..... A. torreyi var. torreyi (2)

1' Annual herb, or subshrub; main stem herbaceous to ± woody at base

18. Perennial herb to subshrub

19. Stem generally leaves 

20. Fruit bracts 2–3 mm, obovate; coastal ..... A. coulteri (2)

20' Fruit bracts 3–5 mm, obovate to fan-shaped to ± spheric, inland ..... A. fruticulosa (3)

19' Stem generally  to leaves  to , wavy-dentate, or 

21. Leaf bases long-tapered to short-petioled,  to wavy-dentate, , or 

22. Fruit bracts thin; leaves generally  ..... A. suberecta (2)

22' Fruit bracts spongy or fleshyleaves  to wavy-dentate

23. Fruit  spongy ..... A. lindleyi (2)

23' Fruit  fleshy, ± red ..... A. semibaccata

21' Leaves generally 

24. Fruit bracts ± free ..... Extriplex californica

24' Fruit bracts fused proximally to distally to  or 

25. Fruit bracts  distallyleaves  to 

26. Fruit bracts 2–3 mm, obovate; coastal ..... Atriplex coulteri (2)

26' Fruit bracts 3–5 mm, obovate to fan-shaped to ± spheric; inland ..... A. fruticulosa (3)

25' Fruit bracts  to shallowly  throughout; leaves  to 

27. Fruit bracts ± spongy, ± spheric; not mat-like ..... A. leucophylla

27' Fruit bracts thin, not spongy,  to diamond-shaped; generally mat-like ..... A. watsonii

18' Annual

28. Leaves generally green, glabrous to sparsely powdery or fine-scaly

29. Pistillate flowers of 2 kinds; fruit bracts wide-elliptic to ± round, smooth, net-veined; seeds vertical between bracts, or horizontal in calyx ..... A. hortensis

29' Pistillate flowers of 1 kind; fruit bracts generally not wide-elliptic to ± round, smooth to tubercled or ribbed, not net-veined; seeds vertical between bracts

30. Fruit bracts fused proximally distallystaminate flowers in clusters of elongated terminal spikes or  ..... A. serenana var. serenana (2)

30' Fruit bracts free to fused proximally to  proximally; staminatepistillate flowers mixed or staminate flowers in short spikes

31. Fruit bracts , ± round ..... A. micrantha

31' Fruit bracts  to variously , not ± round

32. Fruit bracts few-dentate to 

33. Leaves triangular-hastate; fruit  surfaces generally tubercled ..... A. prostrata (2)

33' Leaves  to triangular-ovate; fruit bracts smooth or 2-tubercled

34. Brown seeds , wider than long; fruit bracts smooth or 2-tubercled – leaves generally thickened, ± scaly ..... A. dioica

34' Brown seeds round; fruit bracts smooth ..... A. patula

32' Fruit bracts 

35. Seeds of 1 kind; fruit  ribbed – fruit bracts 2–4 mm; leaves narrowly  to  ..... Extriplex joaquinana (2)

35' Seeds of 2 kinds; fruit  not ribbed

36. Fruit bracts 4–12(25) mm, margins leaves  to  ..... Atriplex gmelinii var. gmelinii

36' Fruit bracts 3–7 mm, margins  to finely leaves triangular-hastate ..... A. prostrata (2)

28' Leaves ± gray- or ± white-green, densely fine-scaly

37. Fruit bracts free to fused proximally – stem generally striatefruit bracts ribbedinflorescence spike- or panicle-like, terminaldense ..... Extriplex joaquinana (2)

37' Fruit bracts fused ± proximally to near tip

38. Fruit  widest proximally, generally  to  or diamond-shaped

39. Leaves coarsely wavy-dentate, distal  – fruit bracts hard; leaves densely fine-scaly abaxially, ± green adaxially, red in age ..... Atriplex rosea

39' Leaves generally all 

40. Stem 0–few-branched,  to , 1–8 dm; fruit bracts 2.5–5 mm

41. Base of proximal  blades rounded; fruit bracts 2.5–3.5 mm; s SnJV (Kern Lake bed) ..... A. tularensis

41' Base of proximal  blades fruit bracts 3–5 mm; GV ..... A. cordulata

42. Fruit bracts deltate-ovate, central  generally > others; GV ..... var. cordulata

42' Fruit bracts  to fan-shaped, central  generally <= others; SnJV ..... var. erecticaulis

40' Stem many-branched,  to , < 4 dm; fruit bracts 1–4 mm

43. Fruit bracts 1–2 mm, , surfaces smooth; GB – stems < 1.5 mm thick ..... A. pusilla

43' Fruit bracts 2–4 mm,  to few-dentate, surfaces smooth or tubercled; GV, SCo, PR

44. Staminate flower clusters terminalpistillate flower clusters  ..... A. persistens (2)

44' Staminate flower clusters , or staminate and pistillate flowers mixed, generally in axillary clusters

45. Stem woolly near tips; leaves generally ; SCo, PR ..... A. parishii

45' Stem glabrous to densely scaly near tips; leaves  or ; GV, SnJV

46. Leaves generally fruit bracts smooth; SnJV ..... A. minuscula

46' Leaves generally fruit bracts generally tubercled; GV

47. Fruit bracts generally tubercled on side facing stem ..... A. depressa

47' Fruit bracts generally tubercled on both surfaces – branches widely  ..... A. subtilis

38' Fruit bracts generally widest at middle or distally, fan- to wedge-shaped or ± round

48. Staminate flowers in terminal clusters, pistillate flowers in  clusters

49. Plant  to fruit bracts 1–1.5 mm ..... A. pacifica

49' Plant  to  (spreading); fruit bracts >= 2 mm

50. Plant < 3(5) dm; fruit bracts 3–5 mm; leaves 

51. Leaves  to , 2–5 mm ..... A. persistens (2)

51' Leaves narrowly  to , 5–12(24) mm ..... A. fruticulosa (3)

50' Plant 3–10 dm; fruit bracts 2–3.5 mm; leaves irregularly  (entire) ..... A. serenana

52. Leaf blades 5–20 mm; staminate inflorescence spheric, short; s SCo ..... var. davidsonii

52' Leaf blades 10–50 mm; staminate inflorescence  or , elongate; widespread ..... var. serenana (2)

48' Staminate flowers in  clusters, or staminate and pistillate flowers mixed, generally in axillary clusters

53. Fruit bracts spongy, 5–12 mm, obconic to ± spheric – s SCo ..... A. lindleyi (2)

53' Fruit bracts not spongy, 2–6(8) mm, wedge-shaped to round, generally , or if spheric, then densely tubercled

54. Fruit bracts round, , ±  to cut ..... A. elegans

55. Fruit bracts deeply  to cut, teeth 0.5–1 mm wide ..... var. elegans

55' Fruit bracts minutely  to finely teeth 0.3–0.5 mm wide ..... var. fasciculata

54' Fruit bracts generally wedge-shaped to obovate or ± spheric proximally distally

56. Fruit  tip ±  to notched, 3–5-dentate – generally SNE, DMoj, including edges ..... A. truncata

56' Fruit  tip  to rounded in outline

57. Leaf margin coarsely  ..... A. suberecta (2)

57' Leaf margin , wavy or flat

58. Leaf  base ±  to fruit bracts 2.5–6 mm, fused proximally ..... A. coronata

59. Fruit bracts 2.5–4 mm, ± 2.5–4 mm wide ..... var. vallicola

59' Fruit bracts 4.5–6 mm, 3–5 mm wide

60. Stem  to fruit bracts together ± tubercles generally few, generally < marginal teeth ..... var. coronata

60' Stem ± fruit bracts together ± spherictubercles dense, generally ± = marginal teeth ..... var. notatior

58' Leaf  base generally ±  to tapering; fruit bracts 4–8 mm, fused to near tip ..... A. argentea

61. Stem  to , 15–30 cm; fruit bracts 

62. Leaves  or proximal petioled; stemsleaves scaly, inflated hairs not elongate ..... var. hillmanii

62' Leaves generally stemsleavesfruit bracts densely scaly, with elongate inflated hairs ..... var. longitrichoma

61' Stem , 30–80 cm; fruit bracts short-stalked

63. Distal leaves short-petioled; most proximal leaves ; GB, DMoj ..... var. argentea

63' Distal leaves ; most proximal leaves ; GV, CCo, e SnFrB, SW, D ..... var. expansa

 

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Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

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