Atriplex lentiformis (Torrey) S. Watson

Quailbush, Big Saltbush
Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)


Quailbush, aka big saltbush, is a large dioecious shrub generally wider than tall. The twigs are terete with no striae which distinguises this taxon from Torrey's saltbush. The alternate, short-stemmed leaves are ovate to deltate, up to 2" long, and densely gray-scurfy with smooth margins.  Staminate and pistillate flowers are borne on separate plants in dense, terminal paniculate spikes.  The widely ovate fruiting bracts are up to 1/4" long and usually wider, and are distinct to fused to about the middle.  Quailbush occupies alkaline or saline washes, mostly below 2000', in both deserts, the northern part of the West Transverse Range and along the South Coast, blooming from August to October.  The Jepson Manual 2nd edition has lumped the two ssps., lentiformis and torreyi, into a single taxon. These photographs were taken in Upper Newport Bay and Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserves and Crystal Cove State Park.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Atriplex 2) lentiformis.
Pronunciation: AT-ri-plex len-ti-FOR-mis.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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