Herbs, annual, prostrate, sometimes tinged red, 1-6 dm, forming tangled masses 3-10 dm diam., lightly scurfy when young. Leaves numerous, sessile or proximal short petiolate; blade greenish adaxially, paler abaxially, oblanceolate to spatulate-elliptic or oval, (3-)5-18 × 1-8 mm, margin entire, more scurfy abaxially. Staminate flowers in glomerules largely in distal bractless axils, thus short spicate; calyx 5-cleft. Pistillate flowers in proximal axils. Fruiting bracteoles subsessile or stipe to 0.3 mm, suborbiculate to obovate, 1-1.5(-2) × 1.1-1.8 mm, united to middle, margin minutely 3-5-toothed at apex, otherwise entire, apex green, faces smooth or rarely tuberculate. Seeds light brown, 0.8-1 mm. Flowering early spring-fall. Mainly on sea bluffs; 0-100 m; Calif.; Mexico (Baja California). The name Atriplex ramosissima was published by Moquin-Tandon as a synonym, based on a name on a specimen in Nuttall´s herbarium.
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous annuals, stems prostrate, yellowish or sometimes tinged red, forming tangled masses 30-100 cm in diameter, stems 10-60 cm long, herbage lightly scaly and shedding when young. Leaves: Numerous, alternate, oblanceolate to spatulate-elliptic or oval, 3-18 mm long and 1-8 mm wide, margins entire, sessile or proximal blades short petiolate, blades greenish above, paler and more scurfy (lightly scaly) below. Flowers: Very small, staminate and pistillate; staminate flowers in glomerules, these largely in distal, bractless axils in short spikes, with 5-cleft calyxes. Pistillate flowers mostly in lower (proximal) axils. Fruits: Fruiting bracteoles suborbiculate to obovate, 1-2 mm long and 1-12 mm wide, united to the middles, margins minutely 3-5-toothed at apex and otherwise entire, apices green, faces smooth or rarely tuberculate, bracts subsessile or borne on a short stipe to Ecology: Found mainly on sea bluffs, from 0-350 ft (0-106 m); flowering early spring-fall. Distribution: California; Mexico. Ethnobotany: Specific uses for this species are unknown, but other species in the genus have uses; a poultice of the leaves used to treat insect stings and bites, and an infusion of the plant used as a cathartic. The seeds used as food, and the young leaves used as greens, the plant also used as feed for livestock. Synonyms: Atriplex microcarpa, Atriplex ramosissima, Obione microcarpa Editor: LCrumbacher 2012 Etymology: Atriplex is an ancient Latin name for this plant, while pacifica comes from the Latin pacificus, meaning "peace-making, peacable," and from a botanic standpoint probably meaning "of the Pacific Ocean or the general Pacific area".