Atriplex prostrata
 
Hastate Atriplex

Flowering Branch

North of Old Wives Lake
08-Aug-2018

Atriplex prostrata and A. dioica are very similar.  According to the Flora of North America, "There does not seem to be any consistent feature or combination of features by which all specimens can be assigned to one or the other of the two taxa".  I decided this specimen was A. prostrata because there are mostly non-scurfy, hastate triangular leaves  extending almost to the apex of the plant.  However, the leaf veins are prominent which is usually a feature of A. dioica.

A key to all the Atriplex species occurring in Saskatchewan is found here.  This key was derived from the key in the Flora of North America by removing all the non-Saskatchewan species.

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Atriplex: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora and Flora of Alberta leading to this genus. 
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herbs or low shrubs

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plants not spiny or prickly

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plants with hyaline or white encrusting scales on stem and leaves; NOT [plants densely pubescent with yellowish brown stellate hairs]

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stems not fleshy

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stems not jointed

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leaves alternate; NOT [leaves and branches opposite]

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leaves not reduced to scales

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petioles shorter than the lamina; NOT [petioles as long as and generally much longer than the lamina]

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flowers not sunk into the stem

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flowers not subtended by scarious bracts

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plants monoecious or dioecious

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staminate flowers without bracteoles but with a 3-5 lobed calyx; NOT [staminate flowers in catkin-like spikes, without a perianth, but subtended by peltate bracts]

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sepals herbaceous or fleshy; NOT [sepals scarious]

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pistillate flowers lacking a perianth but possessing a pair of bracteoles that enclose the ovary and enlarge in fruit

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fruiting bract united, at least at base

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fruiting bracts not covered with silvery, silky hairs

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fruit not 2-toothed at apex

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seed coat not winged at apex

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seed coat leathery; NOT [seed coat membranous]

 

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Amaranthaceae: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora leading to this family.  Not all the answers apply to all the genera in Amaranthaceae, but they all do apply to Atriplex
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herbs or occasionally low shrubs; NOT [shrubs or trees]

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land plants; NOT [water plants]

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plants not parasitic on trees, rooted in soil

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plants not twining and climbing

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plants without milky sap

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plants monoecious or dioecious

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flowers with only one floral ring, with sepals but not petals

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pistillate flowers without calyx

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stigmas 2; NOT [stigmas 1]

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fruit not catkin-like; NOT [pistillate flowers and fruit in catkin-like spikes]

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fruit enclosed in 2 bracteoles; NOT [fruit enclosed by 2-4 perianth segments]

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NOT [fruit 3-seeded, splitting open at maturity]