Atriplex gmelinii var. alaskensis

(S. Watson) S. L. Welsh

Rhodora 102: 416. 2001.

Common names: Alaska orach
Endemic
Basionym: Atriplex alaskensis S. Watson Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 9: 108. 1874
Synonyms: Atriplex patula subsp. alaskensis (S. Watson) H. M. Hall & Clements Atriplex patula var. alaskensis (S. Watson) S. L. Welsh
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 335. Mentioned on page 334.

Stems sparsely branched, 3–8 (–10) dm; branches very stout, obtusely angled, sparsely scurfy when young. Leaves mostly alternate; petiole (0.5–) 1–2 (–2.5) cm; blade bright green, oblong to lanceolate or hastate-lanceolate or ovate, 20–90 (–125) × 8–60 (–70) mm, base rounded to cuneate, with proximal lobe often the largest and antrorse, margin entire or repand-denticulate, apex obtuse or acute, sparsely scurfy when young, becoming more slender and usually entire upwards. Flowers in short, dense, usually leafy, axillary or terminal spikes and in axillary glomerules, staminate ones 4-merous. Fruiting bracteoles sessile, oblong to ovate-orbiculate, or ovate to triangular, sometimes broader than long, 4–14 mm, united only at rounded base, margin entire or with (1 or) 2 or more teeth, apex acute or acutish, or sometimes rounded, faces not appendaged, only apex foliaceous. Seeds dark-brown (no black seeds observed), 2.8–3.5 mm broad; radicle inferior to subascending.


Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: Coastal salt marsh, with Zostera, Elymus, and other strand and beach plants, from below high-tide level
Elevation: 10 m

Discussion

I. J. Bassett et al. (1983) distinguished this at species level from the closely allied Atriplex gmelinii by sizes of brown seeds, i.e., 1.7–2.7 mm wide, A. gmelinii; and 2.8–3.7 mm wide, A. alaskensis. Some seeds of plants clearly belonging to A. gmelinii bear seeds as much as 3 mm wide, so the distinction in seed size is not absolute. Also, A. gmelinii occasionally bears black shiny seeds, which have not been observed in specimens of A. alaskensis. It is unfortunate that many collections appear to be juvenile plants lacking mature fruiting bracteoles and seeds. The A. alaskensis phase occurs completely within the range of A. gmelinii and might represent no more than a growth phase of the latter species. Certainly there is considerable ecologically induced variation within the gmelinii complex. Plants that grow within the littoral zone, where they are inundated by high tide, present completely different facies than do those that are immediately above the tidal zone. Leaves vary from linear to oblong, oval, and various other shapes within what has been traditionally regarded as A. gmelinii in a strict sense (A. patula var. obtusa). The two entities, var. gmelinii and var. alaskensis, are treated herein as belonging to an inclusive A. gmelinii.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"dm" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.

Acute (?) +  and Obtuse (?) +
slender +
Stanley L. Welsh +
(S. Watson) S. L. Welsh +
slippery +
aromatic +
rounded +, oblong +  and ovate-orbiculate or ovate +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (1.4 cm14 mm <br />0.014 m <br />) +
sometimes broader than long +
Atriplex alaskensis +
9 cm90 mm <br />0.09 m <br /> (12.5 cm125 mm <br />0.125 m <br />) +
6 cm60 mm <br />0.06 m <br /> (7 cm70 mm <br />0.07 m <br />) +
bright green +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (9 cm90 mm <br />0.09 m <br />) +
oblong +  and lanceolate or hastate-lanceolate or ovate +
8mm;60mm +
persistent +  and deciduous +
reddish-brown +, black +, brown +  and green +
linear +  and deltoid +
3-5-parted +
Alaska orach +
B.C. +  and Alaska. +
not appendaged +
tuberculate +  and smooth +
rounded +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
not +  and connate +
enlarged +
Coastal salt marsh, with Zostera, Elymus, and other strand and beach plants, from below high-tide level +
bladderlike +
terminal +  and axillary +
deciduous +  and persistent +
stipitate +  and sessile +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
not winged +  and winged +
with 2 or moreteeth , apex acute or acutish , or sometimes rounded , faces +  and entire +
acutish +, acute +, repand-denticulate +  and entire +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br />) +
inferior +, half-inferior +  and superior +
crassinucellate +  and bitegmic +
campylotropous +
1 +  and single +
persistent +  and deciduous +
(1-)3-5-lobed +
papery +  and chartaceous +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br />) +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
Flowering summer. +
bulbous +  and taprooted +
fusiform +
fleshy +  and fibrous +
verrucate +  and striate +
0.28 cm2.8 mm <br />0.0028 m <br /> (0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br />) +
4-merous +  and staminate +
cylindric +
3 (?) +  and 5 (?) +
opposite +  and alternate +
succulent +
sessile +  and petiolate +
reduced;small +
horizontal +  and vertical +
verrucate +
Atriplex patula subsp. alaskensis +  and Atriplex patula var. alaskensis +
Atriplex gmelinii var. alaskensis +
Atriplex gmelinii +
variety +
dicotyledonous +
simple +  and branched +