Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 17: 377. 1882.
Herbs, erect or spreading to prostrate, 0.5–3 dm; branches almost horizontal to ascending, fragile, white scurfy or villous (in var. parishii). Leaves numerous, all or nearly all opposite or almost all alternate, distal ones imbricate or widely separated, tending to recurve; blade lanceolate to ovate, (2–) 4–10 × 3–8 mm, rigid, base mostly rounded to cordate, margin entire, gray to white, densely scurfy (or hairy). Staminate flowers mostly in distal axils pistillate in proximal axils, or mostly in terminal spike (var. persistens), or partly so (var. subtilis). Fruiting bracteoles sessile, ovate or rhombic, slightly compressed to thickened, 2–3.5 (–4) mm and about as broad or sometimes broader, often subhastately lobed, united 1/2 of length, entire or with few teeth on each side, tuberculate on 1 or both faces. Seeds dark-brown or almost black, 0.8–1.5 mm.
Varieties 5 (5 in the flora).
The Atriplex parishii complex consists of a series of microphyllous, low clump-forming annuals apparently disjunct from each other in the Central Valley of California and in near coastal southern California. Often they occupy vernal pools that dry as the season progresses; the substrates in all cases evidently are saline or alkaline, or both. For the most part, the bracteate distal leaves are cordate to rounded at the base, and spreading to spreading-ascending, and the fruiting bracteoles are mainly less than 3.5 mm in length.
|1||Fruiting bracteoles persistent, ± thickened and/or tuberculate on 1 or both faces||> 2|
|1||Fruiting bracteoles deciduous, compressed, faces smooth or tuberculate||> 3|
|2||Stems, even in inflorescences, mainly over 1.5 mm thick; staminate flowers borne mainly in terminal spikes; fruiting bracteoles 2.5-3.5(-4) mm; Colusa, Glenn, Merced, Solano, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties.||Atriplex parishii var. persistens|
|2||Stems all or at least above, filiform, less than 1.5 mm thick; staminate flowers borne mainly in axillary glomerules, only sometimes somewhat spicate; fruiting bracteoles 2.4-2.8 mm; Fresno, Kings, Kern, Madera, and Tulare counties||Atriplex parishii var. subtilis|
|3||Plants with elongate slender hairs in inflorescences; foliose bracts of inflorescence spreading, tips ± recurved; plants of Los Angeles (or Orange), Riverside, and San Diego counties||Atriplex parishii var. parishii|
|3||Plants merely scurfy in inflorescences; foliose bracts of inflorescence spreading-ascending, tips not or not especially recurved||> 4|
|4||Leaves all or mainly opposite, 3-7 mm; fruiting bracteoles with appendages not in rows, on abaxial surface only; Glenn, Solano, and Yolo counties||Atriplex parishii var. depressa|
|4||Leaves all or mainly alternate, 4-10 mm; fruiting bracteoles with faces smooth; Tulare and Kern counties||Atriplex parishii var. minuscula|
"/2" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property."broader" is not a number. "broad" is not a number. "broader" is not a number. "broad" is not a number.