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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Chenopodiaceae | Atriplex

27. Atriplex klebergorum M. C. Johnston, Southw. Naturalist. 6: 49. 1961.

Kleberg orach

Herbs, with ligneous vertical taproot 5-9 mm thick; bark pale. Stems erect, diffuse; branches alternate, numerous, horizontal or distally ascending, terete, 1.5-4 dm, densely white farinose when young, glabrate in age; bark becoming pale brownish white and flaky; internodes mostly shorter than 1(-2.4) cm. Leaves alternate, proximalmost subopposite, sessile; blade ovate-deltoid, 0.5-1.5(-2.5) × 5-12(-15) mm, rather firm and flat, base rounded, truncate, or slightly clasping, margin entire or toothed, apex acute, very densely canescent-farinose with a greenish yellow tinge. Flowers sessile, axillary, inconspicuous, mostly in leafy lateral branches with extremely short internodes, arising toward tips of secondary branches. Staminate flowers in most distal axils, 2 mm wide; sepals 3-5, mostly hyaline, curved elliptic, 1.5-1.7 mm, mucronulate, farinose dorsally. Pistillate flowers densely farinose; bracteoles adnate to ovary. Fruiting bracteoles variably and irregularly 3-7-cleft, ovate-orbicular, 3.1-4.7 × (3.2-)4-7 mm, typically somewhat constricted below middle, with terminal lobes (1-)1.5-2.8 mm, densely scurfy, faces doubly cristate or smooth. Seeds dark reddish brown, round-lenticular, 1.5 mm wide, shining; radicle superior.

Flowering summer. In silty or clay loam soils; of conservation concern; near sea level; Tex.

The species was noted by its author as apparently belonging in sect. Argenteae Standley; I concur with that alignment. The overall shape of the bracteoles with a subterminal constriction is reminiscent of those of Atriplex powellii, but the bracteole shape is otherwise distinctive, and the long marginal teeth and occasional elongate cristate processes on the faces are unmatched elsewhere in the Argenteae.


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