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



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. calceoliformis (Hook.) Moquin


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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