Sarcobatus (Sarcobataceae)

Sarcobatus vermiculatus
UofA RAM 338

Sarcobatus vermiculatus
U of Az

Sarcobatus vermiculatus
Nowicke, 1975.

Spiney succulent-leaved shrub of valley floors. Halophytic, Leptocaulous. Leaves alternate, spiral, terete, fleshy, sessile, simple, exstipulate.
"Sarcobatus has long been acknowledged an an anomalous member of this family (Chenopodiaceae), e.g. by Bentham and Hooker (1880), who presented it as a monogeneric tribe. Behnke (1997) proposes raising it to family rank, because sieve-element plastid form supports recent chloroplast DNA sequencing studies in portraying it nearer Phytolaccaceae than Chenopodiaceae." (Watson and Dallwitz, 1999)

Pollen light micrograph:
Grain ca. 25 µm, elliptical - spherical, periporate with less than 20 pores, pores annulate, surface psilate - scabrate

Pollen scanning electron micrograph (SEM)
Surface evenly and sparsely scabrate.

Production and Dispersal:
Moderate production and good dispersal.

Well preserved.

Fossil Occurrence:
Present in the Oligocene Florissant Formation, Colorado (Tsuchdy & Scott, 1969). Likely a primary component, with Ephedra, of the Paleogene desert flora of Western North America. Common in Neogene pollen floras of (low-elevation) Western North America.

    Behnke, H.-D. 1997.
    Sarcobataceae a new family of Caryophyllales. Taxon 46, 495:507.

    Tsuchdy, R.H. and Scott, R.A. 1969.
    Aspects of palynology. Wiley Interscience.

    Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M. J. (1992 onwards).
    ‘The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval.’ Version: 19th August 1999.

    Pollen Morphology.
    Nowicke, J.W. 1975.
    Pollen morphology in the order Centrospermae. Grana Palynologica 15: 51-77.

Owen Davis 11/00