Atriplex torreyi var. griffithsii, Griffiths Saltbush
Scientific Name: Atriplex torreyi var. griffithsii
Common Name: Griffiths Saltbush
Also Called: Griffiths' Saltbush
Family: Chenopodiaceae, Goosefoot Family (now as sub-family Chenopodioideae in the Amaranthaceae Family).
Synonyms: (Atriplex lentiformis ssp. griffithsii, Atriplex torreyi var. griffithsii)
Size: 1 to 3 tall and as wide (3 to 10 dm)
Growth Form: Shrub or sub-shrub; plants light green-gray or whitish, branches many, slender, striately angled, without spines.
Leaves: Leaves greenish-white, fine scurf, thick, leaf shape variable; oblong, or ovoid, leaves with rounded edges, few leaves hastate, some with medium-sized petioles others with short-petioles
Flower Color: Greenish yellow; flowers unisexual in small clusters, female flowers in interrupted terminal spikes, leafy-based panicles; seeds small.
Flowering Season: Spring to Winter
Elevation: Sea level up to 3,600 feet (0 to 1098 m).
Habitat Preferences: Alkaline soil, Saline soils; in New Mexico it prefers edges of playas without long standing water, associated plants include Atriplex acanthocarpa and grasses of the genus Sporobolus.
Recorded Range: Griffiths Saltbush is very rare in the United States at it is only found in only Willcox, Arizona.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Atriplex torreyi var. griffithsii.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: Atriplex torreyi var. griffithsii is ranked as "Imperiled" under Rounded Global Status: G2 -
NatureServe: "This species is endemic to a small area in southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona. It is restricted to the highly saline edges of playas and only occurs in three general areas that occur at approximately the same latitude. The largest and most secure populations apparently occur in the middle of its range. In the past occurrences both near Deming, NM and on the Wilcox Playa, AZ have failed to be relocated."
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 25 species of Atriplex, California has 51 species, Nevada has 27 species, New Mexico has 21 species, Texas has 21 species, Utah has 35 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: The type collection (Griffiths, 1985) is from Willcox, Cochise County, Arizona. Although this species is thought to closely resemble Atriplex lentiformis, for which it was described as a subspecies thereof, it is actually a subspecies of Atriplex torreyi.
The species epithet "griffithsii" is in honor to David Griffiths (1867-1935), an American botanist born in Aberystwyth, Wales, but emigrated to the United States with his family at 3 years of age and grew up on a farm in South Dakota.