nsarcobatusAn anomalous genus of apetalous plants, constituting the tribe Sarcobatideæ in the order Chenopodiaceæ. It is characterized by its monœcious bractless flowers, the staminate in catkins and without any floral envelops, the pistillate solitary in the axils, and having their top-shaped perianth wholly confluent with the ovary, which is transversely thickened above and terminated by two fleshy recurving stigmas, and which contains a single pearshaped ovule. The fruit is a rigid membranaceous utricle, surrounded by a thin and veiny horizontal wing, and containing an erect orbicular seed, with green spiral embryo and inferior radicle. The only species, S. vermiculatus, is a native of the western United States, and is an erect much-branched spiny shrub, with numerous alternate leaves, which are linear, sessile, and somewhat fleshy, and cylindrical catkins with persistent scales. It is known as greasewood, and is the principal shrub called by that name.
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
nSarcobatussär-kob′a-tus an anomalous genus of North American shrubs of the goose-foot family—the only species the greasewood of the western United States.