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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

12. Chenopodiaceae, the Goosefoot Family

4. Suaeda Forsk. -- Sea blite

1. Suaeda depressa (Pursh) S. Wats.

Erect to low and spreading, taprooted annual, sometimes reddish-tinged; stems simple to more often freely branched, (0.5)1-6 dm long. Leaves numerous, alternate, sessile, linear, semiterete, rather succulent, 5-30 mm long, ca. 1 mm wide, acute, reduced to short bracts in the inflorescence. Flowers perfect to imperfect, greenish or sometimes reddish, very small, 1-2 mm across in fruit, smaller in flower, tightly clustered in sessile glomerules of 3-7 flowers in the axils of the bracts, the glomerules forming elongate spikes which usually comprise the bulk of the mature plant; bracts mostly 1-6 mm long, somewhat broader than the leaves; perianth deeply 5-parted, the lobes very unequal, fleshy, corniculate on the back, 1 or 2 much more corniculate on the back than the others, cucullate, ca. 1 mm long at fruit maturity; stamens 5 or fewer; styles usually 2(3-5), very short. Fruit enclosed by the perianth, horizontal, the membranous pericarp very loose on the seed; seed black, shiny, oval, ca. 1 mm in diameter. Aug--Sep. Alkaline or saline flats, shores, stream banks and seepage areas; common in ND and n SD, less so s SD and NE; (w MN to B.C., s to MO, TX, AZ and CA).
GIF- Distribution Map

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