Atriplex eardleyae Aellen APNI*
Synonyms: Atriplex campanulata APNI*
Description: Erect to decumbent herb or sub-shrub with rigid prostrate to ascending stems, to 30 cm, dioecious, annual or a short-lived perennial.
Leaves elliptic to orbicular to 20 cm long, entire or sinuate, apex obtuse, base cuneate with a short petiole or sub-sessile. Mealy white.
Flowers in axillary clusters. Male flowers in small glomerules in distal (at or near branch tips) leaf axils usually with a few female flowers. Female flowers scattered in glomerules along branches in lower axils.
Fruiting bracteoles with a stipe like base, expanded and more or less fan-like at the top, subequal, 6–10 mm long, 3–5 mm wide, sinuate at apex with 3–5 teeth, covered in vesicular hairs. Stipe a compressed narrow campanulate tube 1–2 mm long which expands into the appressed fan-like to reniform, reticulately nerved top. The adaxial valves slightly shorter than the abaxial valves with a pair of small unequal leaf-like or tooth-like appendages on the adaxial surface near the base, appendages sometimes lacking. Pedicel slender or stout, shorter than to slightly exceeding the length of the tube.
Flowering: Fl. All months but mostly spring to early summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread throughout drier areas of the western divisions; introduced into coastal districts. In numerous communities on a wide range of soils but mostly on heavier soils although less frequent on grey clays; Near lakes, dune swales.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld W.A. S.A. N.T.
A variable species evidently grading into A. pseudocampanulata and A. crassipes var. appendiculate. Often occurring with A. pseudocampanulata. In good seasons may form dense mats a metre or more across. In dry seasons plants are more widely scattered and generally smaller.
Text by B.M. Wiecek
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990), Fl. Aust. Vol. 4, 1984, Fl. S. Aust. Vol. 1, 1986, Fl. Vict. Vol. 3, 1996, Plants of Western NSW 1992
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.