L sn. Zurn. 1: 30. 1846.
Herbs, monoecious, pale green, 0.5–3 dm, glabrous. Stems simple or branched, erect or ascending, terete or subangular. Leaves alternate or the proximalmost opposite, blade green, oblong, lanceolate, or ovate, proximal leaves lanceolate to rhombic-ovate, 10–30 × 5–13 mm, base rounded or hastately to cuneately narrowed to petiole, margin nearly always entire (some hastate), apex acute or rounded, rarely obtuse, glabrous on both sides. Flowers in rather loose spiciform, axillary or terminal inflorescences. Staminate flowers 5-merous. Pistillate flowers enclosed by paired bracteoles. Fruiting bracteoles green, midvein never impressed, sessile or with stipes 0.5–1.5 mm, broadly ovate to rhombic-ovate, 3–5 mm, distinct nearly to base, base rounded or more often hastate-cuneate, margin entire or sparingly toothed, apex acute or acuminate, faces smooth. Seeds small, not or only moderately dimorphic: black, convex, 1.5–2 mm wide, lustrous, or light-brown or olivaceous, compressed, 2.5–3 mm wide, duller, with subbasal, spreading radicle. 2n = 18.
Phenology: Flowering late summer–fall.
Habitat: Coastal sites
Elevation: 0 m
Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.)
M. M. Iljin, (1936) definitely placed Atriplex praecox within the synonymy of A. nudicaulis. The following note is included in Flora Europaea (P. Aellen 1964b): “In the Baltic and arctic Russia many subspecies of, or species related to 19 [i.e., A. longipes Dreger] have been described. Most of these are sympatric and are probably more correctly treated as variants of this group.” Listed are both A. nudicaulis and A. praecox, followed by short descriptions. Both have stalked bracteoles circa 5–6 mm, with the former being 3-veined and with lateral reticulum, the latter being 1-veined. If they are the same, then nudicaulis is the earliest name.