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Atriplex patula

Description from Flora of China

Herbs annual, to 1 m tall. Stem erect, terete below, distinctly ribbed and colored striate above, densely furfuraceous, much branched above; branches obliquely spreading. Petiole 5-12 mm; leaf blade ovate-triangular to lanceolate, 4-6 × 1-3 cm, abaxially usually gray-white furfuraceous, base broadly cuneate, margin irregularly serrate on middle cauline leaves, with a pair of larger teeth near base, entire on lower and upper cauline leaves or with only 1 pair of teeth near base, apex shortly acuminate. Inflorescence laxly spikelike. Male flowers: perianth green, 4- or 5-parted; segments oblong, slightly fleshy; stamens 4 or 5; anthers broadly obovate, ca. 3 mm. Female flowers: ovary ellipsoid; stigmas filiform, ca. 3 mm. Fruiting bracts connate only near base, ovate to ovate-triangular, 2-5 mm, densely furfuraceous, margins entire, apex obtuse or acute. Utricle compressed subglobose; pericarp membranous. Seed red-brown or black, 1.5-2.5 mm in diam.; testa membranous or crustaceous. Fl. and fr. Aug-Oct.

Atriplex oblongifolia Waldstein & Kitaibel (Descr. Icon. Pl. Hung. 3: 278. 1806–1812; A. patula Linnaeus var. oblongifolia (Waldstein & Kitaibel) Westerlund) is a distinct species related to A. patula and naturally occurring from Europe to SW and C Asia. Reports of A. oblongifolia from China need confirmation, because this species is easily confused with xeromorphic, farinose forms of A. patula.

Slopes. W Xinjiang; should be expected as naturalized in other parts of China [Asia, Europe, North America; also widely naturalized].


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