Suaeda californica

Suaeda californica Wats.
California sea-blite

Family: Chenopodiaceae

Habit: Shrub 3 to 8 dm., mound-like, glabrous or sparsely hairy with spreading pale green or reddish branches.

Distribution: Rare; found in the margins of coastal salt marshes from San Francisco Bay to California’s central coast.

Seed unit: Utricle; free seed.

Seed: Free seed 1.5 to 2 mm., lens shaped, biconvex, with rounded margins.  Nearly circular except for a slightly hooked projection and notch on the margin.  Shiny and black although often enclosed in a persistent calyx. 

Embryo:  Spirally coiled embryo (peripheral embryo) with a thin, firm, semi-transparent endosperm on each side.

Purity instructions:   Pure seed definition:  
AOSA:  PSU#38 – Intact utricle with or without perianth, whether or not a seed is present. Piece of broken utricle larger than one-half the original size, unless no seed is present. Seed with or without seed coat.

Lab notes: Calyx may persist, covering the seed.  Seed is often brittle and empty.  Samples often contain many empty floral parts, which can be easily confused with pure seed units.

Average pure seed units per gram:  1,097 seeds per gram (based on AOSA pure seed units only from 4 samples received for testing from 1997 to 2002).

Range of percent pure seed: 20% to 41%

Range of percent inert: 58% to 79%

Description of inert: Plant material, broken seed.

Planting instructions: 400 seeds, TB, 21 days @ 20°C; for fresh and dormant seed, prechill recommended.

References: (link to main reference page)
Hickman, J.C., Ed.  1993.  p. 515
Martin, A.C. and W.D. Barkley.  1961.  p. 152
Munz, P.A. and D.D. Keck.  1968.  p. 384
Ransom Seed Laboratory