Sonoran Desert Goosefoots

Annuals, Perennials, and Shrubs. Flowers without showy petals, often enclosed in green leaf-like bracts, and borne in dense spikes or catkins. Fruit a capsule containing a single seed. Alternate leaves often scurfy/canescent - having a sandy or powdery texture.


Atriplex lentiformis

Four-winged Saltbush

Atriplex canescens

Large shrub of soil that is partially damp and saline/alkaline. Abundant along major river courses and in areas near irrigation ditches. Large panicles of flatted seeds on branch ends. Detailed Description

Large shrub of alkaline soils ranging to slightly drier habitats than Quailbush. Seeds have four, papery wings around the capsule. Leaves linear, silvery canescent. Detailed Description

Sponsored Links

Wheel-scale Saltbush

Atriplex elegans

Allscale Salt Bush

Atriplex polycarpa

Summer to autumn annual, sometimes perennial. Gray scurfy leaves. Fruit capsules flattened and with a wheel of fleshy fingers forming a corona. Frequent near agricultural settings and as a weed in urban areas of the Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Gray-green shrub of alkaline soils. Small, oblong leaves. Abundant scaled fruit at branch tips.    Detailed Description

Desert Seepweed

Suaeda moquinii

Lamb's Quarters

Chenopodium album

Shrubby plant with fleshy leaves found in saline/damp soil as along rivers in the Sonoran Desert.    Detailed Description

Leafy weed of cool seasons found growing usu. near agric. fields. Leaves whitish on top surface. Leaves coarsely toothed; flowers green & without petals. Detailed Description

Tumbleweed / Russian Thistle

Salsola tragus

Mealy Goosefoot

Chenopodium incanum

Robust summer to autumn annual growing mostly as a weed near agriculture, in fallow fields, but also along riparian zones. Forming tumbleweeds with stems that are wiry and beset with spinescent leaves.    Detailed Description

Late spring to summer annual fairly common in riparian habitats and better-watered washes. Diamond-shaped leaves mealy-white beneath.    Detailed Description

Iodine Bush

Allenrolfea occidentalis

Nuttall's Povertyweed

Monolepis nuttalliana

Woody shrub of saline/alkaline soils with fleshy, jointed stems. Leaves scale-like. Flowers very small without petals. Detailed Description

Usually a low-growing plant with fleshy leaves and stems. Green flowers clustered in axils of leaves. Found in moist, saline soil. Detailed Description

Sponsored Links

Sonoran Desert Places


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2015