Herbs, perennial, annual in colder regions, erect or ascending, dark green or glaucous, 2-9 dm. Stems erect, green to reddish, often profusely branched from base, slightly woody at base; branches ascending or spreading, not decumbent, slender. Leaves ascending or spreading; blade narrowly linear, planoconvex to semiterete, 7-50 × 0.8-1.8 mm, apex acute. Glomes in usually dense, branched, compound spikes, 1-3-flowered; spike ascending, 1-12 cm, slender; bracts shorter than leaves, 2-7(-12) × 2-4 mm. Flowers bisexual; perianth ± irregular or zygomorphic (segments slightly to strongly unequal), 1.2-2.5 mm diam.; perianth segments thin, at least one segment abaxially rounded and keeled and/or distally hooded, apex acute; stigmas 2(-5). Seeds dimorphic; lenticular, 1-1.8 mm diam., with seed coat black, finely reticulate, shiny; or flat, 1.5-2.6 mm, with seed coat brown, dull. 2n = 54.
Flowering late summer-fall. Salt marshes, sandy beaches, other coastal wetlands; 1-10 m; Ala., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tex., Va.; Mexico; West Indies (Bahamas).
Suaeda linearis is strictly annual (probably related to freezing conditions of winter) and usually green in the northern part of its range; it is usually perennial and glaucous in the southern part.
Erect or ascending; 2-8 dm, usually much- branched; lvs dark green, plano-convex, the primary ones to 4 cm, the rameal ones progressively shorter; spikes often elongate, usually dense; bracts 4-7 mm; cal at maturity 2 mm wide, sep narrowly keeled; seeds 1-1.5 mm wide; 2n=54. Coastal salt-marshes; Me. to Tex. and W.I. (Dondia l.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.