Chenopodiaceae Zuckia brandegeei

Zuckia brandegei

Zuckia brandegei var. brandegei

Synonym: Grayia brandegei; Grayia brandegeei

Family: Chenopodiaceae – Goosefoot Family

Woody shrubs or subshrubs; 3.9” to 1.6' (1 to 5 dm) tall; branches not thorny

Leaves: alternate; simple; grey or bluish; entire or lobed; can have hairs; 0.52” to 3.2” (13 to 80 mm) long, 0.6” to 1.7” (15 to 42 mm) wide

Flowers: 0 petals; 4 or 5 lobed sepals; 1 pistil; 2 stigmas; 4 or 5 stamens; greenish, small and inconspicuous; dioecious, or less commonly monoecious; unisexual; male (staminate) flowers 0.06” to 0.07” (1.5 to 1.8 mm) long, 2 to 5 flowers in clusters; female (pistillate) flowers 1 to several per bract

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by wind

Fruits: utricles – small 1 seeded fruit with a thin wall; large number of seeds that persist

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub communities in fine-textured substrates, often saline and seleniferous, on the Morrison Formation, Summerville Formation, Entrada Sandstone, Chinle Formation, Moenkopi Formation and Cutler Formation

Location seen: Devils Garden

Other: The genus name, “Zuckia”, honors Myrtle Zuck. The species name, “brandegei”, honors Townshend Stith Brandegee (1843-1925) and/or Dr. Mary Katherine (Layne, Curran) Brandegee (1844-1920), pioneer western botanists. The genus name, "Grayia" is named for Asa Gray (1810-1888), a distinguished American botanist and professor at Harvard University.

Plants in this family are generally weedy, but beets and spinach are members of this family. The family is called the goosefoot family because the leaf shape may look like a goose's foot.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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