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The journal of the Western Australian Herbarium

Tecticornia bibenda (Chenopodiaceae: Salicornioideae), a new C4 samphire from the Little Sandy Desert, Western Australia

Tecticornia bibenda K.A. Sheph. & S.J. van Leeuwen, a new species of conservation significance is described and illustrated. Previously Tecticornia indica (Willd.) K.A. Sheph. & Paul G. Wilson (formerly Halosarcia indica (Willd.) Paul G. Wilson) was the only member of the Salicornioideae that was known to have a modified Kranz anatomy indicative of the C4 photosynthetic pathway. Anatomical evidence indicates that T. bibenda shares a similar modifi ed anatomy. While T. bibenda is related to T. indica, it is distinguished by the presence of unusually large vegetative and fertile articles and having paired cymes of (4)5–7 flowers rather than the more typical 3-flowered cymes. This species is restricted to the flood zones and fringing spinifex/samphire heath of several gypsiferous playa and salt lake systems in the Little Sandy Desert of Western Australia. Due to its restricted distribution this species has a Priority three conservation status.