Suaeda

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Suaeda

 

(seablite), a genus of halophilic plants of the family Chenopodiaceae. The plants are annual or perennial herbs, subshrubs, or shrubs. The leaves are usually alternate, narrow, and fleshy; the small, most often bisexual flowers are borne singly or in groups in the axils of the bracts. The perianth consists of five fleshy segments, which often have outgrowths when fruits are present. The fruit has a membranous carpel and contains vertical or horizontal seeds. Some species form two types of seeds: glossy black-brown seeds in the summer and early autumn and dull light-colored seeds in late autumn. The latter type of seed is the larger of the two.

There are approximately 100 species of seablite, distributed throughout the world except in the arctic zone. The plants grow along seacoasts and the shores of salt lakes and in various other salt-bearing places. The USSR has about 25 species, which grow mainly in southern regions. Most common are 5. pro-strata, an annual whose stems turn red, and S. microphylla, a strongly branched shrublet. Both species are usually found in clusters in wet solonchaks and solonchak lowlands. In late autumn and winter these and other species of seablite are eaten by camels and, to a lesser extent, sheep and goats. S. altissima is a weed and a ruderal plant. The ashes of seablite contain potash and sodium carbonate.

T. V. EGOROVA

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Common vegetational alliances at the reserve include Suaeda moquinii Shrubland Alliance (bush seepweed scrub), Allenrollfia occidentalis Shrubland Alliance (iodine bush scrub), Centromadia (pungens) Herbaceous Alliance (tar plant fields), Amsinckia (menziesii, tessellata) Herbaceious Alliance (fiddleneck fields), and Bromus rubens-Schismus (arabicus, barbatus) Semi-Natural Herbaceous Stands (red brome or Mediterranean grass grasslands; Sawyer et al.
Perennial dune vegetation consists of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), black seepweed (Suaeda nigrescens), and honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) (Rzedowski 1978).
with numerous individuals of Ambrosia and a few individuals of Hymenoclea, seepweed (Suaeda torreyana), and Allenrolfea.
Characteristic plant species include succulent shrubs such as iodine bush (Allenrolfea occidentalis) and bush seepweed (Suaeda moquinii), as well as salt tolerant grasses such as alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) and saltgrass (Distichlis spicata).
Vegetation is xerophitic (Redowsky 1978) with a greater abundance of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) and desert seepweed (Suaeda nigrescens) and lesser abundance of mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and Christmas cactus (Cylindropuntia leptocaulis).
stansburiana selected microhabitats with seepweeds (Suaeda nigrescens) and highly compacted sand (Garcia-De la Pena et al.