Atriplex FNA Key - Sask

The following key was created as follows:


Started with key to Atriplex species in Flora of North America


Removed all species not found in Saskatchewan.  List of Saskatchewan species obtained from Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan by Vernon L. Harms.


Added rarity/abundance information, also taken from Harms. CC - very common, C - common, FC - fairly common, UC - uncommon, VUL - vulnerable, THR - threatened, END  - endangered, ADV? - possibly adventive, R - rare (applies to introduced species only).


Added common names.


Added color coding


Linked species name to species description in Flora of North America

1. Plants perennial shrubs A. gardneri (Nuttall's Atriplex) CC
    Plants annual or perennial herbs (2)

2. Leaves usually green on both surfaces, glabrous or sparingly powdery or finely scurfy Key 1
     Leaves white to gray, densely and finely scurfy, especially adaxially (3)

3. Plants perennial A. argentea (Silvery Atriplex) C
Plants annual Key 3

Key 1

1. Pistillate flowers of 2 kinds: some with calyx 3-5-lobed and seed horizontal, others lacking perianth, enclosed in pair of bracteoles, seed vertical; fruiting bracteoles samara-like, strongly compressed, oval to orbicular or ovate; plants widespread in North America.  A. hortensis (Garden Atriplex) C
Pistillate flowers all alike or, if dimorphic, both kinds lacking perianth, enclosed within bracteoles, and seed vertical; fruiting bracteoles variously compressed (2)

2. Bracteoles thickened with spongy tissue, especially toward base  (3)
    Bracteoles not thickened  (8)

3. Lower leaves linear or ovate-lanceolate, sometimes toothed and/or with proximal-most lobe largest, but then not triangular, or if so leaves thick textured A. dioica (Saline Atriplex) C
    Lower leaves (sometimes all or most) triangular and thin textured A. prostrata (Hastate Atriplex) C

8. Fruiting bracteoles ovate to elliptic or orbiculate-cordate (9)
    Fruiting bracteoles never orbiculate-cordate, frequently toothed, usually with lateral angles (14)

9. Bracteoles ovate to widely triangular, surfaces often 2-tuberculate, margin toothed; leaves usually thickened, scurfy, even at maturity.  A. dioica (Saline Atriplex) C
    Bracteoles orbiculate-ovate, surfaces smooth, margin entire; leaves usually thin, green on both sides, not or scarcely scurfy (10)

10. Leaves broadly triangular-hastate; widely distributed from Quebec west to British Columbia.  A. heterosperma (Two-Scale Atriplex) VER?
      Leaves mostly lanceolate to narrowly hastate; southern British Columbia, adjacent Alberta, and South Dakota.  A. oblongifolia (Oblong-Leaf Atriplex) VER?

14. Bracteoles rhombic, margin united almost to middle, lateral angles definite; terminal inflorescence with densely compressed, uniform- sized bracteoles; distal leaves green on both sides.  A. patula (Fat-Hen Atriplex) FC
       Bracteoles ovate or triangular-ovate, margin free to base, lateral angles lacking; terminal inflorescence with loosely spaced, larger and smaller bracteoles; distal leaves whitish abaxially.  A. oblongifolia (Oblong-Leaf Atriplex) VER?

Key 3

1. Leaf blades all or most of them dentate or sinuate-dentate, leaves all alternate, or opposite only at proximal-most 1-3 nodes A. rosea (Red Atriplex)  UC
     Leaf blades not all dentate, some, or all, of them entire, leaves commonly opposite or subopposite at proximal-most nodes (6)

6. Perianth of staminate flowers cup-shaped, lobes fleshy-crested on back, pink; bracteole margin united to apex; high plains and steppes, southeast Alberta and southern Saskatchewan.  A. suckleyi (Rillscale) FC
    Perianth of staminate flowers not cup-shaped, lobes ovate, rounded on back, green in center, becoming membranous near margins; bracteole margin united at base or to middle; various or other distribution.  (14)

14. Bracteoles deltoid to ovate or hastate-ovate to ovate-oblong, broadest at or near base, often about twice as long as broad, small, sparingly dentate or tuberculate, or entire or smooth, acute; leaves small, sessile, blade typically entire, ovate to linear.  A. powellii (Powell's Atriplex) END
      Bracteoles broadest near or above middle, usually rounded or truncate at apex, or if not so, leaves dentate; leaves usually large and often some petiolate (but see also A. coronata)  (26)

26. Bracteoles panduriform (fiddle-shaped) in outline (with 2 lateral rounded lobes lateral to terminal tooth), faces often obscured by cristate or unaligned appendages; leaf blades conspicuously 3-veined; Alberta and Saskatchewan.  A. powellii (Powell's Atriplex) END
       Bracteoles not panduriform; leaf blades not conspicuously 3-veined  (28)

28. Bracteoles dentate only at truncate apex, small; southern British Columbia, Alberta, and southwest Saskatchewan.  A. truncata (Wedge-Leaved Atriplex) END
       Bracteoles dentate well below apex, often to base, large; other distribution  A. argentea (Silvery Atriplex) C