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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1052. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: About 200 species, mainly distributed in deserts or saline habitats; 11 species are reported from Pakistan.
Comment/Acknowledgements: A difficult genus with some species showing great variability in the form of the bracteoles in fruit.


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Herbs or shrubs, farinose or glabrous, often whitish, with usually flat, opposite or alternate leaves, monoecious rarely dioecious. Flowers polygamous, usually unisexual, in terminal or axillary clusters, forming a spike-like or paniculate inflorescence, male flowers with usually 5 perianth segments and 5 stamens; pistillate flowers usually without perianth but usually enclosed within 2, free or partly united bracteoles (valves), rarely with 4-5-lobed perianth segments then bracteoles absent. Styles and stigmas 2. Utricle usually enclosed within bracteoles (valves), pericarp membranous, mostly free or almost so; seed usually vertical, rarely horizontal or pendulous (especially in those with perianth), often dimorphic, smooth.

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1 Fruiting valves free to the base; annual herbs. (2)
+ Fruiting valves ± united at least at the base; annuals, biennials or perennials. (4)
2 (1) Female flowers dimorphic, some with a perianth and fruit with a horizontal seed, some without a perianth and fruit with a vertical seed. (3)
+ Female flowers monomorphic, without a fruit with a vertical seed.(Fig.11, A-C1). 12 Atriplex dimorphostegia
3 (2) Leaves glabrous or almost so on both sides, concolorous. (Fig.12, G). 7 Atriplex hortensis
+ Leaves with a dense vesicular scaly indumentum on lower side and almost glabrous above, bicolorous. 8 Atriplex aucheri
4 (1) Fruiting valves not 4-winged; mono-ecious herbs or shrubs. (5)
+ Fruiting valves 4-winged; dioecious shrubs. (Fig.9, A-G). 4 Atriplex canescens
5 (4) Fruiting valves tuberculate. (6)
+ Fruiting valves not tuberculate (7)
6 (5) Upper leaf surface with an indumentum; petiole on middle cauline leaves less than 10 mm. (Fig.10, A-D1) 6 Atriplex tatarica
+ Upper leaf surface glabrous; petiole on middle cauline leaves 15-20 mm. (Fig.12, A-F). 10 Atriplex schugnanica
7 (5) Shrubs with a sub-orbicular to reniform, ± flat fruit; valves fused only at the base; leaves entire or obsoletely repand-lobed. (8)
+ Shrubs, perennial or annual herbs with variable fruits; valves clearly fused; leaves entire or clearly serrate. (10)
8 (7) Stem short, 10-80 cm; glomerules few to many-flowered; fruiting spikes ± lax; fruit valves 5-10 x 5-2 mm. (9)
+ Stem long, 2-3 m; glomerules many-flowered forming dense lateral and terminal spikes; fruiting spike ± leafless; dense fruit valves c. 4-5 mm, thick-textured. 11 Atriplex halimus
9 (8) Fruit valves 5-6 x 4-6 mm; leaves oblong-obovate, attenuate into a 0.5-1.5 mm petiole. (Fig.8, G-I). 2 Atriplex stocksii
+ Fruit valves 7-10 x 10-12 mm; leaves rhomboid to suborbicular, broadly cuneate to subcordate with a 2-10 mm petiole on lower leaves. (Fig.8, G-I) 3 Atriplex griffithii
10 (7) Annual herbs; leaves not thick, entire to serrate. (11)
+ Perennial shrub; leaves thick-textured, entire to sinuate dentate. (Fig.8, A-F1) 1 Atriplex leucoclada
11 (10) Inflorescence without distinct vesicular hairs, glabrescent. (Fig.11, D-F1) 9 Atriplex lasiantha
+ Inflorescence with at least some distinct vesicular hairs. 5 Atriplex pamirica
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