Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Some of the common dryland weeds of this family will invade dry wetland basins during periods of drought. Notable among these are kochia, Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. and Russian thistle, both Salsola iberica Sennen & Pau and S. collina Pall. These plants are especially opportunistic around brackish or saline wetlands where high salt concentrations discourage other plants from pioneering exposed substrates. Since kochia and Russian thistle are well known as upland weeds and because they are uncharacteristic of wetlands except during periods of drought, they are excluded here.
|1||Leaves opposite, scalelike; stems succulent, jointed at the nodes.||Genus Salicornia|
|1||Leaves alternate or mostly so; stems not especially succulent and not jointed.||Lead 2|
|2||Leaves sessile, linear, semiterete.||Genus Suaeda|
|2||Leaves mostly petiolate, the blades lanceolate to ovate-deltate or ovate-oblong, entire to sinuate-dentate, often hastate.||Lead 3|
|3||Flowers imperfect, the male and female flowers mixed in glomerules borne in axillary and terminal spikes, the spikes ebracteate or only sparsely bracteate in the lower portion; pistillate flowers lacking a perianth, the fruit enclosed by a pair of sepaloid bracteoles.||Genus Atriplexa|
|3||Flowers perfect, in glomerules borne in axillary and terminal spikes which are bracteate throughout, the bracts reducing in size upward; fruit surrounded by the persistent perianth.||Genus Chenopodium|