Silvery Saltbush - Atriplex argentea
MNPS Threat Rank
Monoecious annuals with farinose foliage. Stems erect, branched, 5–50 cm. Leaves often opposite below; the blades lanceolate to triangular, sometimes hastate, 1–4 cm long; margins entire Inflorescence axillary glomerules and short terminal spikes, female below male. Male flowers 4 to 5-parted. Female flowers lacking a calyx; pistillate bracts united to the middle. Mature pistillate bracts hardened in the center, 3–6 mm long with lobed margins and often tuberculate faces. Our plants are variety argentea (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Amaranthus alba may be confused with A. blitoides, but they are easily distinguished by the size and luster of the seeds (Welsh 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 4)
In MT scattered irregularly across about a third of our counties, but excluding most along the western tier apart from Beaverhead County; BC to MB south to CA, TX, and Mexico, also widely introduced across S. Am., Eurasia, Africa and Australia (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Welsh 2003 in Fl. N. Amer. Vol. 4).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Barren, fine-textured to sandy, often saline or alkaline soil of steppe, eroding slopes, badlands; plains, valleys (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Anderson, N.L. 1951. Field studies on the biology of range grasshoppers of southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 96 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
- Rundquist, V.M. 1973. Avian ecology on stock ponds in two vegetational types in north-central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 112 p.
- Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.