Atriplex elegans

(Moquin-Tandon) D. Dietrich

Syn. Pl. 5: 537. 1852.

Common names: White-scale saltbush wheelscale orach
Basionym: Obione elegans Moquin-Tandon in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 13(2): 113. 1849
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 364. Mentioned on page 365.
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Herbs, annual (or sometimes perennial?). Stems ascending or procumbent to erect, stramineous or whitish, simple or much branched at base, obtusely angled in age, mainly 0.5–4.5 dm, slender or stout, scurfy to glabrate. Leaves many, subsessile or shortly petiolate; blade elliptic to spatulate, oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate, 5–30(–35) × 2–8(–12) mm, base cuneate to attenuate, margin entire or irregularly dentate, densely scurfy abaxially, usually green and glabrate adaxially. Staminate flowers with 3–5-parted perianth. Pistillate flowers intermixed with staminate in small axillary clusters. Fruiting bracteoles subsessile or short stipitate, orbiculate, strongly compressed, 2–4 mm and as wide, united except at thin margin, margin dentate, terminal teeth often prominent, faces smooth or with cristate appendages (thornberi phase). Seeds brown, 1–1.5 mm wide.


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Ariz., Calif., N.Mex., Nev., Tex., Utah, n Mexico.


Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

Selected References



1 Fruiting bracteole margin dentate to incised, teeth 0.5-1 mm; bracteole not especially samaralike; s California e to Texas, and Mexico (Chihuahua, Sonora) Atriplex elegans var. elegans
1 Fruiting bracteole margin finely toothed, teeth 0.3-0.5 mm; bracteole appearing samaralike; s Cali- fornia and w Arizona Atriplex elegans var. fasciculata