Amaranthaceae - amaranth family
Species that grow without cultivation on Mount Desert Island

compiled by the
Champlain Project - P. O. Box 55 - Bass Harbor, Maine  04653
info@vfthomas.com

(updated 12 September 2018)


Amaranthaceae - amaranth family
   petals: 0

Mount Desert Island is home to 13 species in 5 genera that grow without cultivation. If you already know which species you have or are interested in learning about, click on the appropriate species link below. Otherwise, to determine which genus that the plant in question falls into, refer to the table immediately below the species list.

   Amaranthus (2 species)
      Amaranthus hybridus - green amaranth (uncommon1 [see note 1 at bottom of page])
      Amaranthus retroflexus - red-rooted amaranth (common)
   Atriplex (5 species)
      Atriplex acadiensis - maritime orache (uncommon)
      Atriplex glabriuscula - bracted orache (uncommon)
      Atriplex patula - spreading orache (rare)
      Atriplex prostrata - hastate-leaved orache (occasional)
      Atriplex subspicata - saline orache (uncommon)
   Chenopodium (2 species)
      Chenopodium album - white goosefoot (common)
      Chenopodium glaucum - oak-leaved goosefoot (rare)
   Salicornia (1 species)
      Salicornia depressa - common glasswort (occasional)
   Suaeda (3 species)
      Suaeda calceoliformis - American sea-blite (rare)
      Suaeda linearis - annual sea-blite (uncommon)
      Suaeda maritima - herbaceous sea-blite (common)




leaf arrangement leaf morphology petiole base stem roughness
Amaranthus alternate expanded blade with distinct petiole petiole base clasps stem may or may not be rough
Atriplex alternate and/or opposite expanded blade with distinct petiole petiole base narrow, does not clasp stem may or may not be rough
Chenopodium alternate expanded blade with distinct petiole petiole base narrow, does not clasp stem not rough
Salicornia opposite scale-like, no petiole n/a (no petiole) not rough
Suaeda alternate linear, no petiole n/a (no petiole) not rough


Amaranthus (amaranth)
   Etymology: The name of this genus comes from the Greek (second declension neuter) noun amaranton (αμαραντον) for “never-fading flower”, referring to the “dry, unwithering bracts”3. The Latin noun amarantus is masculine (second declension), hence the (nominative singular) masculine specific epithets, which are here adjectives.

bract length apex of sepals of carpellate flowers curvature of upper portion of sepals of carpellate flowers
Amaranthus hybridus 3–4 mm (sub)acute not outwardly curved
Amaranthus retroflexus 4–8 mm obtuse to emarginate outwardly curved

Amaranthus hybridus (green amaranth) has been reported in Maine from Hancock and Waldo Counties and from York, Cumberland, and Oxford Counties. It has been reported from scattered counties in New Hampshire and Vermont, and from most counties of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Amaranthus retroflexus (red-rooted amaranth) has been reported from all counties in Maine and almost all in New England. The early season shoots, later leaves, and finally seeds are “important and nutrient-dense foods”4.


Atriplex (orache)

extent of leafy bracts in inflorescence shape of brown fruits abundance of black fruits habitat
Atriplex acadiensis only at base more or less round common salt marshes, sea beaches
Atriplex glabriuscula nearly to tip {?} rare or absent salt marshes, sea beaches
Atriplex patula only at base more or less round common roadsides, waste areas
Atriplex prostrata only at base more or less round common salt marshes, sea beaches
Atriplex subspicata only at base elliptic (wider than long) common salt marshes, sea beaches

Atriplex acadiensis (maritime orache) - [information to be added]

Atriplex glabriuscula (bracted orache) - [information to be added]

Atriplex patula (spreading orache) - rare on Mount Desert Island

Atriplex prostrata (hastate-leaved orache) - [information to be added]

Atriplex subspicata (saline orache) - [information to be added]


Chenopodium (goosefoot)
[information to be added]

sepal number habit
Chenopodium album consistently 5 erect
Chenopodium glaucum mostly 3 prostrate to erect, usually branched from the base

Chenopodium album (white goosefoot) - common on Mount Desert Island

Chenopodium glaucum (oak-leaved goosefoot) - rare on Mount Desert Island


Salicornia (glasswort)
   Etymology: Salicornia is derived from two Latin words: sal, salis, salt (from its saline habitat); and cornu, cornus, horn (from the horn-like appearance of its branches)2.

Salicornia depressa (common glasswort) - [information to be added]
   
(click on an image to enlarge)


Suaeda (sea-blite)
[information to be added]

habit relative size of sepals at maturity anther length seed width
Suaeda calceoliformis erect to decumbent unequal 0.3–0.4 mm 0.8–1.7 mm
Suaeda linearis erect equal approximately 0.2 mm 1.0–1.8 mm
Suaeda maritima prostrate to erect equal [?] 1.0–2.2 mm

Suaeda calceoliformis (American sea-blite) - rare on Mount Desert Island

Suaeda linearis (annual sea-blite) - [information to be added]

Suaeda maritima (herbaceous sea-blite) - [information to be added]

(click on image to enlarge)


Notes:
   1Frequency designations are from the book The Plants of Acadia National Park (ISBN 978-0-89101-120-0) by Glen H. Mittelhauser, Linda L. Gregory, Sally C. Rooney, and Jill E. Weber, published in 2010 by the University of Maine Press.
   2Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Addison Brown. 1896, volume I, page 582. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
   3Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Addison Brown. 1896, volume I, page 587. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
   4Haines, Arthur. 2015. Ancestral Plants, volume 2.