Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Sarcobatus vermiculatus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SarcobataceaeView Description 
Habit: Shrub, erect; generally monoecious. Stem: branches many, 90° to main stem, thorny, generally interlocking, generally thorn-tipped. Leaf: many, simple, cauline, generally alternate, deciduous, sessile, +- linear, flattened to subcylindric, fleshy; stipules 0. Inflorescence: staminate spikes cylindric, dense, erect, terminal; pistillate flowers 1--4, axillary; bracts leaf-like. Staminate Flower: perianth 0, stamens 1--4, sessile on spike axis, concealed by peltate, angular, persistent, spirally arranged bracts. Pistillate Flower: carpels 2, fused, stigmas 2, ovary 1/2 inferior; perianth cup-like, fused to ovary, persistent, forming wing in fruit. Fruit: achene, tapering above encircling, irregularly-edged wing; +- glabrous. Seed: coat thin; embryo coiled, green.
Genera In Family: 1 genus, 2 species: to western Canada, Great Plains, northern Mexico. Note: Formerly treated in Chenopodiaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Matthew H. Hils
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SarcobatusView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Etymology: (Greek: fleshy bramble)
Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.
Habit: Plant 5--21 dm, erect (+- spheric). Stem: +- yellow-cream to +- white or light gray. Chromosomes: n=18,36.
Ecology: Alkaline soils, dry lakes, washes, scrub, roadsides; Elevation: 100--2300 m. Bioregional Distribution: GB, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to western Canada, Great Plains, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Aug
Unabridged Synonyms: Batis vermiculata Hook.; Fremontia vermiculata (Hook.) Torr.; Sarcobatus maximilianii Nees
Jepson eFlora Author: Matthew H. Hils
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Sarcobatus baileyi
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Botanical illustration including Sarcobatus vermiculatus

botanical illustration including Sarcobatus vermiculatus


Citation for this treatment: Matthew H. Hils 2012, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 25, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 25, 2021.

Sarcobatus vermiculatus
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
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© 1999 California Academy of Sciences
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Sarcobatus vermiculatus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sarcobatus vermiculatus:
GB, DMoj
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).