wheelscale saltbush, more...
[Atriplex elegans var. thornberi M.E. Jones, more]
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.
Plant: Annual ± 1-5 dm; stems decumbent to ascending, ± branched, finely scaly, becoming glabrous Leaves: alternate, entire; blade 5-25 mm, elliptic to oblanceolate, densely white-scaly below, entire to dentate, tapered to basealternate, entire; blade 5-25 mm, elliptic to oblanceolate, densely white-scaly below, entire to dentate, tapered to base INFLORESCENCE: Staminate inflorescence: spike or spheric cluster; bracts 0; Pistillate inflorescence: clusters to spike- or panicle-like; bracts in fruit 2-3.5 mm, fused to near top, round, smooth or with 1 low tubercle, toothe Flowers: Staminate flower: calyx lobes 3-5; stamens 3-5; Pistillate flower: calyx ± 0; ovary ovoid to spheric, style branches 2 Fruit: an utricle; Seed 1, 1-1.5 mm, brown, erect Misc: Saline or alkaline soils, dry lakes; < 1000 m. Notes: Fruit; at maturity inclosed by bractlets, bractlets herbacious and evenly and deeply dentateLeaf; hairs are simple, inflated hairs, grayish or whitish.Inflorescence; in clusters or glomerules.Sepals; staminate flowers have 3-5, pistallate flowers have 2 appressed orbicular bracts. References: Kearney & Peebles; Arizona Flora. McDougall; Seed plants of N. Arizona. Hickman ed.; The Jepson Manual.