Stutzia dioica (Saline Saltbush) - photos and description



Stem leaf in above photo

Bracts are ovate

Stems red towards the base




General: Small, annual plant with decumbent, much-branched growth habit. Stems green at the top and red towards the base.

Flowers: Flowers in glomerules, greenish-yellow to pinkish-red, grow from leaf axils and at end of stems. Male flowers with up to 5 stamens. Flowers measured at 2 mm long.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, lanceolate to ovate, entire, sessile, glabrous, glaucous, succulent. Leaf highlighted in photo above was 20 mm long by 8 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 30 cm. We measured plants to 15 cm tall.

Habitat: Eroded clay slopes and badlands in southern Saskatchewan.

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

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species: Annual, leaves are ovate, bracts are entire and ovate, staminate flowers are pink (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

Synonyms: This plant has many synonyms and this be can be quite confusing. ITIS as of 2019 refers to the plant as Stutzia dioica. Flora of North America and Flora of Alberta refers to it as Atriplex suckleyi, while Budd's Flora refers to the plant as Endolepis suckleyi and lists Atriplex dioica as a synonym.

ITIS report for Stutzia dioica listing synonyms.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos on July 26th, eroded, clay butte, East Block of Grasslands National Park, about  300 km south west of our home in Regina, SK.