Gardner's Saltbush - Atriplex gardneri
MNPS Threat Rank
PLANTS: Low, mostly dioecious subshrubs to 50 cm high. Stems prostrate to usually decumbent with gray-scurfy foliage. Source: Lesica et al. 2012
LEAVES: Short-petiolate; the blades linear to spatulate, 5–40 mm long with entire margins, the lowest sometimes opposite. Source: Lesica et al. 2012
INFLORESCENCE: Glomerules in terminal spikes or dense panicles. Male flowers yellow or brown, 5-parted. Female flowers lacking a calyx; pistillate bracts united above the middle. Mature pistillate bracts lanceolate to orbicular, 2–5 mm long with toothed or winged margins and facial tubercles. Source: Lesica et al. 2012
Montana has 3 varieties: gardneri, aptera, falcata
In Montana, three varieties of Atriplex gardneri have been reported (Welsh in FNA 2003); however, their morphological characteristics do not often differ ecologically and many herbarium specimens cannot be assigned with confidence to a variety (Lesica et al. 2012). The MTNHP is not tracking these varieties; however, observation data submitted to MTNHP will retain within the botany database the varietal name if provided by the observer.
Variety gardneri: globose to flattened pistillate scales with lateral teeth and facial tubercles.
Variety aptera: ellipsoid pistillate scales with 4-lobed lateral wings. It is considered to be a hybrid between Atriplex gardneri and Atriplex canescens (Welsh in FNA 2003). Variety aptera is frequently found, long-lived, and fertile.
Variety falcata: lanceolate pistillate scales without lateral teeth and may have or may not have low facial tubercles.
Occuring throughout most of MT; AB to MB south through e WA to CA, AZ, NM and east to the Dakotas and NE (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)
Fine-textured, saline soils of stream terraces, badlands, steppe, grasslands; plains, valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- 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.