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quelite

fat-hen, hastate orache, hastate-leaf orache, spearscale orache, thin-leaf orache, thinleaf orach, triangle orache

Habit Herbs, annual. Herbs, monoecious, erect, decumbent or procumbent, branching, 1–10 dm; stems subangular to angular, green or striped.
Stems

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

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.

opposite or subopposite at least proximally;

petiole (0–)1–3(–4) cm;

blade triangular-hastate, lobes spreading, 20–100 mm and almost as wide, base truncate or subcordate, margin entire, serrate, dentate, or irregularly toothed, apex acute to obtuse.

Flowers

in spiciform naked spikes 2–9 cm, sometimes forming terminal panicles;

glomerules tight, contiguous or irregularly spaced.

Pistillate flowers

fascicled in axils.

Seeds

reddish brown, 2 mm.

dimorphic: brown, flattened, disc-shaped, 1–2.5 mm wide, or black, 1–1.5 mm wide;

radicle subbasal, obliquely antrorse to spreading.

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 green, becoming brown to black at maturity, triangular-hastate to triangular-ovate, veined or veins obscure, 3–5 mm, thin to thickened, spongy, base truncate to obtuse, margin united at base, lateral angles mostly entire, apex acute, faces smooth or with 2 tubercles.

2n

= 18.

= 18.

Atriplex mucronata

Atriplex prostrata

Phenology Flowering summer–fall. Flowering in summer–fall.
Habitat Sandy seashores, salt marshes Sea beaches, salt marshes or other saline habitats
Elevation 0 m (0 ft) 0-2000 m (0-6600 ft)
Distribution
from FNA
AL; FL; LA; MA; MD; MS; NC; NH; NJ; TX; VA
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AZ; CA; CO; CT; DE; IA; ID; IL; IN; KS; KY; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MT; NC; NE; NH; NJ; NM; NV; NY; OH; OR; PA; RI; UT; VA; WA; AB; MB; NB; NS; ON; PE; QC; SK; Eurasia [Introduced in North America]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[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.)

Atriplex prostrata often grows with willow, tamarix, Scirpus (Schoenoplectus and Bulboschoenus segregates), Juncus, Distichlis, and Typha. Perhaps the phase along coastal eastern North America is indigenous, but this and the related Atriplex heterosperma evidently moved quickly from one palustrine habitat to another following subsequent introductions from the Old World. They were probably initially introduced as ballast waifs, and subsequently dispersed by waterfowl. The two species are now commonplace in lands within and adjacent to marshes in much of North America west of the initial sites of introduction.

The name for the species taken up here follows the nomenclatural interpretation of J. McNeill et al. (1983).

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

Source FNA vol. 4, p. 362. FNA vol. 4, p. 336.
Parent taxa Chenopodiaceae > Atriplex > subg. Obione > sect. Obione > subsect. Arenariae Chenopodiaceae > Atriplex > subg. Atriplex > sect. Teutliopsis
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. matamorensis, 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. 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 A. triangularis
Name authority Rafinesque: Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 2(2): 119. (1817) Boucher ex de Candolle: in J. Lamarck and A. P. de Candolle, Fl. Franç. ed. 3, 3: 387. (1805)
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