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quelite

matamoros saltbush

Habit Herbs, annual. Herbs, dioecious, from woody taproot, erect or ascending, branching at base, sparsely branched distally or simple, 1–4 dm, woody at base somewhat scurfy.
Stems

erect, ascending, or procumbent, much branched, obtusely angled, 1–6 dm, stout, scurfy when young.

terete, slender, densely leafy, rather sparsely and closely scurfy.

Leaves

alternate or proximalmost opposite or subopposite;

petiole to 1.5 cm or sessile;

blade paler abaxially, oblong or oval, lanceolate, or elliptic to broadly obovate or narrowly oblong, 10–40(–60) × (2–)4–20 mm, base rounded to cuneate, margin entire or undulate, rarely with 1–2 teeth, apex rounded to acute, mucronate, thin, often densely white scurfy beneath, grayish green and glabrate above.

possibly Kranz type (difficult to determine), mostly opposite;

blade oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 2–5 mm, subequal to internodes, broadest at middle, apex acute, densely grayish scurfy.

Pistillate flowers

fascicled in axils.

solitary or in small, axillary glomerules in stout leafy spikes.

Seeds

reddish brown, 2 mm.

yellowish, 1 mm wide.

Staminate

glomerules terminal or in dense or interrupted, terminal or axillary, naked spikes or shortly branched panicles.

Fruiting

bracteoles subsessile or with stipes to 1 mm, cuneate-orbiculate, compressed, 4.5–7 × 3.5–5.6 mm, typically longer than wide, united to middle, apex rounded, 3–5-toothed, teeth subequal, sides irregularly tuberculate or with 2 lateral dentate crests, rarely not appendaged.

bracteoles sessile, suborbiculate, strongly compressed, 2–3 mm and broad, united to beyond middle, dentate to near base, triangular teeth acute, terminal 1 longest, faces 3-veined, scurfy.

2n

= 18.

Atriplex mucronata

Atriplex matamorensis

Phenology Flowering summer–fall. Flowering summer and fall.
Habitat Sandy seashores, salt marshes Saline soils, coastal areas, often along roadsides, other disturbed areas
Elevation 0 m (0 ft) 0-50 m (0-200 ft)
Distribution
from FNA
AL; FL; LA; MA; MD; MS; NC; NH; NJ; TX; VA
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
TX; Mexico
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

Problems with prior applications of the name Atriplex mucronata lie in the mistaken determination of the place of publication as Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 2: 176. 1818 (where the name is only mentioned), instead of 2: 119. 1817 (where accompanied by a description and notes). H. M. Hall and F. E. Clements (1923) evidently relied on P. C. Standley’s (1916) interpretation, which indicated the wrong citation (see also A. dioica Rafinesque as an identical example). Hall and Clements applied the name mucronata to their interpretation of A. patula subsp. hastata or to A. hastata (i.e., to A. prostrata according to this treatment).

The treatment of Obione by C. H. B. A. Moquin-Tandon (1849) included “A. mucronata Rafin.!” as a synonym of O. arenaria. Possibly a sheet in the Prodromus herbarium at Geneva was the basis for that decision. It has two mounted specimens, one labeled A. arenaria Nuttall, collected by Nuttall in “N. Jersey, 1826,” and a second labeled “Atriplex mucronata Rafinesque (A. arenaria Nuttall, N. Jersey) Maritime NY, Rafinesque 1819.” From that information (although the year is 1819, not 1817), and from the description of the taxon, it seems clear that A. arenaria Nuttall is a later synonym of A. mucronata Rafinesque by at least half a year.

H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist (1991) indicated that this taxon, by whatever name, is “perhaps better treated as a variety of the more tropical Atriplex pentandra (Jacquin) Standley, but the proper nomenclatural combination not yet made.” The present writer agrees with that conclusion, but such subjugation might indicate further contraction into the species of additional closely related taxa, e.g., A. wrightii, which is clearly closely allied as well.

Plants from the coastal states from New England south to New Jersey are much alike and seldom, if ever, display prominent, terminal, naked spikes or panicles with beadlike glomerules of staminate flowers. Plants from Florida westward sometimes have such staminate spikes or panicles.

Specimens from Florida and some from Texas can be distinguished from Atriplex pentandra only with difficulty, especially those individuals with entire leaves. However, the fruiting bracteole length-width ratio and overall shape, with some allowance for overlap, can serve to distinguish most specimens; those of A. mucronata are proportionately longer than broad and, on average, larger.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

The quelite cenizo is a very distinctive, small, bushy perennial with numerous, ascending branches and tiny leaves. It is here tentatively placed adjacent to the other dioecious, herbaceous perennial, Atriplex watsonii, from which it differs in many ways (compare descriptions). Possibly its near relatives are in adjacent Mexico, which is beyond the consideration of the present paper; certainly it is one of the most distinctive of the herbaceous taxa. According to H. M. Hall and F. E. Clements (1923), the relationships of this species lie with A. watsonii, but it is more closely similar to A. elegans in the strongly compressed, nearly orbicular, and evenly dentate bracteoles. However, both A. watsonii and A. matamorensis have opposite leaves and share the feature of the pericarp being dilated around the thickened stigma bases.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 4, p. 362. FNA vol. 4, p. 367.
Parent taxa Chenopodiaceae > Atriplex > subg. Obione > sect. Obione > subsect. Arenariae Chenopodiaceae > Atriplex > subg. Obione > sect. Obione > subsect. Californicae
Sibling taxa
A. acanthocarpa, A. amnicola, A. argentea, A. californica, A. canescens, A. confertifolia, A. cordulata, A. coronata, A. corrugata, A. coulteri, A. covillei, A. dioica, A. elegans, A. fruticulosa, A. gardneri, A. garrettii, A. glabriuscula, A. gmelinii, A. graciliflora, A. heterosperma, A. holocarpa, A. hortensis, A. hymenelytra, A. joaquiniana, A. klebergorum, A. laciniata, A. lentiformis, A. leucophylla, A. lindleyi, A. linearis, A. littoralis, A. matamorensis, A. nudicaulis, A. nummularia, A. oblongifolia, A. obovata, A. pacifica, A. parishii, A. parryi, A. patula, A. pentandra, A. phyllostegia, A. pleiantha, A. polycarpa, A. powellii, A. prostrata, A. pusilla, A. rosea, A. saccaria, A. semibaccata, A. serenana, A. spinifera, A. suberecta, A. suckleyi, A. tatarica, A. torreyi, A. truncata, A. tularensis, A. watsonii, A. wolfii, A. wrightii
A. acanthocarpa, A. amnicola, A. argentea, A. californica, A. canescens, A. confertifolia, A. cordulata, A. coronata, A. corrugata, A. coulteri, A. covillei, A. dioica, A. elegans, A. fruticulosa, A. gardneri, A. garrettii, A. glabriuscula, A. gmelinii, A. graciliflora, A. heterosperma, A. holocarpa, A. hortensis, A. hymenelytra, A. joaquiniana, A. klebergorum, A. laciniata, A. lentiformis, A. leucophylla, A. lindleyi, A. linearis, A. littoralis, A. mucronata, A. nudicaulis, A. nummularia, A. oblongifolia, A. obovata, A. pacifica, A. parishii, A. parryi, A. patula, A. pentandra, A. phyllostegia, A. pleiantha, A. polycarpa, A. powellii, A. prostrata, A. pusilla, A. rosea, A. saccaria, A. semibaccata, A. serenana, A. spinifera, A. suberecta, A. suckleyi, A. tatarica, A. torreyi, A. truncata, A. tularensis, A. watsonii, A. wolfii, A. wrightii
Synonyms A. arenaria, A. cristata var. arenaria, A. pentandra subsp. arenaria
Name authority Rafinesque: Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 2(2): 119. (1817) A. Nelson: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 9: 118. 1874, not Villars (1779)
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