|Sarcobatus subsp. var.||Greasewood|
Greasewood (Sarcobatus) is a genus of one or two species of flowering plants. Traditionally it has been treated in the family Chenopodiaceae, but the APG II system, of 2003, places it in the family Sarcobataceae.deciduous shrubs growing to 0.5–3 m tall with spiny branches and succulent leaves, 10–40 mm long and 1–2 mm broad. The leaves are green, in contrast to the grey-green color of most of the other shrubs within its range. The flowers are unisexual and appear from June to August. The species reproduces from seeds and sprouts. The green or tan fruit is small and winged. Small brown seeds are contained inside the fruit.
Their area of distribution is western North America.
Greasewood is a halophyte, and is commonly found in sunny, flat areas around the margins of playas and in dry stream beds and arroyos. Greasewood often grows in extensive, nearly pure stands in pluvial desert locations. Greasewood does not grow exclusively in highly saline areas, but is most common on fine-grained soils in areas with a relatively high water table.
Pests and diseases
The two species are not accepted as distinct by all authors; see the Flora of North America for further details.
- Sarcobatus baileyi Coville (syn. Sarcobatus vermiculatus var. baileyi (Coville) Jepson). Nevada, endemic. Low shrub 0.5–1 m tall. Leaves hairy, 10–16 mm long.
- Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Hook.) Torr.. Throughout the range of the genus. Shrub 1–5 m tall. Leaves hairless or only slightly hairy, 15–40 mm long.
Sarcobatus vermiculatus; Source: USGS