Atriplex cristata

Atriplex cristata Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.

Synonym: Atriplex pentandra

Family: Amaranthaceae

Habit: Atriplex cristata grows as an annual or perennial herb up to 1 m in height (usually shorter). The leaves are arranged alternately, sessile top subsessile, oblong/ovate/obovate/oblanceolate, slightly succulent with a scurfy/mealy, to 3 cm in length and 2 cm wide with an acute/obtuse (sometimes mucronate) leaf apex and dentate/sinuate leaf margin.

The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, monoecious flowers are arranged in axillary spikes. The staminate flowers are in terminal spikes with 5 tepals, 5 stamens and no carpel. The carpellate flowers are in axillary fascicles with two 3-lobed tepals, no stamens, and 1 carpel with a single locule and seed. The fruit is dry with corky, toothed projections.

Habitat: Atriplex cristata grows in saline areas along the coast or edges of Dunes and Mangrove flats.

Distribution: Atriplex cristata occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the Caribbean, southern United States, Central and northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Atriplex cristata is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.