Atriplex micrantha (Russian Atriplex) - photos and description






Bracteoles on Sep. 4th, note there are bracteoles of 2 sizes



Bracteoles on September 4th, no veins visible

Bracteole on September 27th, it's now apparent the veins merge at base of bracteole


General: Annual with an erect growth habit, often branching at the base. Stems and leaves are farinose (mealy), otherwise plants are glabrous. Stems angled.

Flowers: Plants are monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plant), flowers grow in terminal and axillary glomerules. Male flowers have 5 stamens arranged in a star pattern. Female flowers are subtended by two bracteoles. The bracteoles are orbicular, and grow in two sizes which we measured at on September 4th: larger bracteoles at 6 mm long by 6 mm wide, and, smaller bracteoles at 3 mm long by 3 mm wide.

Leaves: Alternate, triangular with two basal lobes, base of leaves are truncate to slightly cuneate, the apex is acuminate (gradually tapering to a sharp point). We measured a leaf mid-stem with a blade 50 mm long by 52 mm wide and with a petiole 13 mm long; we measured an upper leaf at 47 mm long by 35 mm wide and with a petiole 12 mm long. Leaves are thick and have a rubbery feeling.

Height: Height listed in Flora of Alberta to 150 cm, we measured plants to 97 cm tall.

Habitat: Roadsides and waste ground.

Abundance: Rare.

Origin: Introduced.

How to identify this species of Atriplex: 1) Leaves triangular, usually with two basal lobes, 2) bracteoles orbicular in two sizes, the larger sized bracteoles 6 mm long by 6 mm wide, 3) the bracteoles do not have tubercles. 4) (apparent in late September) veins of the bracteole merge at the base of the bracteole. Similar species A. hortensis has bracteoles with veins that merge in the middle of the bracteoles. This characteristic is not apparent until the bracteoles are mature and dried out.

Synonym: Listed in several of the field guides we use as Atriplex heterosperma.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken August 23rd, September 4th, and September 27th, muddy edge of pond, disturbed ground, Wascana Park in of our home of Regina, SK.