Atriplex prostrata (Hastate Saltbush) - photos and description



Staminate flowers shown in above photo.

Staminate flower in above photo.

Upper stem leaf in above photo.

Lower stem leaf in above photo.

Bracteoles crowded along the stems

Bracteoles crowded along the stems

Bracteoles more or less triangular in profile

Bracteoles more or less triangular in profile

Bracteoles more or less triangular in profile


Clusters of bracteoles in above photo.

General: An annual with an erect, decumbent, or procumbent growth habit, usually branching from the base. Stems angular and green in colour or with red stripes. Foliage glabrous to scurfy.

Flowers: Flowers in reddish glomerules in terminal and axillary spikes. Flowers are in separate sexes on the same plant. We measured a male flower at 1 mm diameter. A pair of bracteoles enclose the ovary, bracteoles hastate (arrow-shaped), mostly entire, and usually have two tubercles (small tuber-like swelling on the surface). The bracteoles are joined at their base and spreading at their apex. We measured a large bracteole at 6 mm long by 5 mm wide. Bracteoles turn purplish with age. Leaves located at the base of spikes and do not grow within the spikes.

Leaves: Are alternate, somewhat succulent. Lower leaves are opposite to subopposite, triangular-hastate usually with a pair of spreading basal lobes. The lower stem leaf highlighted above was 65 mm long by 70 mm wide. Upper leaves are triangular-hastate to lanceolate, entire to toothed. The upper stem leaf highlighted in the photo above was measured at 43 mm long by 34 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Flora of Alberta to 100 cm, we measured plants to 120 cm tall.

Habitat: Edges of sloughs, and saline or alkaline flats.

Abundance: Listed as common in Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan.

Origin: Introduced.

When and where photographed: Photos were taken August 8th, 9th, and the bracteoles were photographed on September 1st all on the same waste ground at the university of Regina, in our home city of Regina, SK.