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Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola

Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray var. salsola

Ambrosia salsola (Torr. & A. Gray) Strother & B.G. Baldw.

Ambrosia salsola (Torr. & A. Gray) Strother & B.G. Baldw. var. salsola

Cheesebush

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusHymenocleaFrom Greek hymen, “membrane,” and kleio, “to enclose”
SpeciessalsolaFrom Latin salsus, “salty”
var.salsolaFrom Latin salsus, “salty”

About plant names...

Cheesebush is native to the Sonoran, Mojave, and Colorado Deserts of Baja California, southern California, southern Nevada, the southwestern corner of Utah, Arizona, and northwest Mexico. The name comes from a disagreeable cheeselike odor given off when the leaves are crushed.

Identification: Cheesebush is a rounded, often disheveled shrub 3-8' (91-243 cm) in height and 6-24' (1.8-7.3 m) around. It is a perennial, but it drops its leaves during periods of drought. It has thin branches and needle-like leaves ¾-3" (1.9-7.6 cm) long, but only ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1-2 mm) wide. It has multiple white male flowers about ¼" (8.3 mm) in diameter. It is an early colonizer of disturbed sites, being replaced in time by plants such as creosotebush.

Online References:

Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola on cabezaprieta.org

Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola on CalPhotos

Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola from the Jepson Manual

References:

MacKay, Pam, Mojave Desert Wildflowers: Including the Mojave National Preserve, Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park, Morris Book Publishing, LLC, 2013, p. 272

Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Hymenoclea salsola (Cheesebush)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 31 × 21" (78 × 52 cm)

Hymenoclea salsola (Cheesebush)

2/17/2007 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...