Allenrolfea occidentalis (S. Wats.) Kuntze  
Family: Amaranthaceae
iodinebush,  more...
[Halostachys occidentalis S. Wats.]
Allenrolfea occidentalis image
L.R. Landrum  
Plants 3-15 dm, ± glaucous. Stems woody proximally, fleshy distally; articulations (joints) (2-)3-5(-10) × 1-4.5 mm. Leaves deciduous; blade 2-4 × 2-3 mm. Inflorescences 6-25 × 2.5-4 mm. Utricles enclosed by perianth. Seeds ca. 0.6 mm. Flowering mid summer-late fall. Alkaline soils, mostly on raised sandy hummocks in salt playas and mud flats; 1000-1700 m; Ariz., Calif., Idaho, N.Mex., Nev., Oreg., Tex., Utah; Mexico. A dominant shrub of salt playas and mudflats in the American Southwest, iodine bush is easily distinguished from great distances by the dark hue of its stems. The blackish-colored shrubs stand in stark contrast to surrounding vegetation and on close examination can be easily distinguished from the opposite-branched, but vegetatively similar members of Sarcocornia.

Plant: Shrub 50-200 cm, glabrous; stem much-branched, jointed; internodes 5-20 mm, green to ± glaucous, fleshy Leaves: alternate, sessile, ± decurrent, scale-like, triangular INFLORESCENCE: spike, 5-25 mm, cylindric, sessile; flowers spirally arranged; bracts peltate Flowers: bisexual; calyx 1-1.5 mm, 4-5-lobed, enclosing and falling with fruit; petals 0; stamens 1-2, exserted; stigmas 2, ovary generally superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, styles 1-3 Fruit: utricle, ± 1 mm, ovoid; Seed 1, red-brown Misc: Saline soils, flats, bluffs; < 1300 m.; Jun-Aug
Allenrolfea occidentalis image
L.R. Landrum  
Allenrolfea occidentalis image
Patrick Alexander  
Allenrolfea occidentalis image
Greg Goodwin  
Allenrolfea occidentalis image
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