Atriplex parishii var. persistens
Rhodora 102: 423. 2001.
Stems erect or ascending, 1–2 dm; branches crowded, spreading, scurfy. Leaves alternate or opposite (within populations or on same plant), sessile; blade gray-green, ovate to ovatelanceolate, 2–4 × 1–3 mm, base cuneate to subcordate, margin entire, apex shortly acuminate, scurfy on both surfaces; bracteate leaves opposite or subopposite, some long villous hairs sometimes present. Staminate flowers in axillary glomerules near branch apices and/or in terminal spikes 0.5–4 cm, 4–5-merous; anthers reddish purple. Pistillate flowers commonly solitary in axils below staminate inflorescences or intermixed. Fruiting bracteoles persistent, ovate-oblong, slightly compressed, 3–4 × 2.5–3.5 (–4) mm, hardened to middle, with 1–2 irregular tuberculate appendages on each face, densely scurfy. Seeds redbrown, 1.2–1.5 mm wide.
Phenology: Flowering spring–fall.
Habitat: Saline or alkaline depressions or vernal pools
Elevation: 0-100 m
Of conservation concern.
Atriplex depressa var. persistens grows with Atriplex fruticulosa, A. rosea, Downingia bella, Lasthenia fremontii, Cressa truxillensis, Eryngium castrense, Frankenia grandiflora, Psilocarpus brevissimus, other annual species, and Distichlis spicata. This taxon, with its persistent, thickened fruiting bracteoles, is probably most nearly allied to var. subtilis, which likewise has clinging fruiting bracteoles and at least a tendency toward concentration of staminate flowers at branch ends. Although it was described as having alternate leaves, a specimen from nearby the type locality, Hall 11006 (GH) taken in July of 1920, has leaves and foliose bracts of inflorescence clearly opposite. A note on the label of Hall 11759 (GH) states, “one plant with mostly opposite lvs; others with lvs. mostly alternate but a few on same plant plainly opposite.”
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