Roland's sea-blite was not recognized as a separate species until 1978. It was named after Albert G. Roland, the author of the Flora of Nova Scotia (Bassett and Crompton 1978).
There are six existing populations, but all of them are small with less than 200 plants. No other historical records are known.
The short-term trend is unknown. Most of the known populations have been visited only once in recent decades and additional visits are needed to determine their trend.
The long-term trend in number of populations appears to be stable.This plant has always been very rare in New York. All the known historical populations have been rediscovered.
Four populations occur in areas with a lot of human and boat activity which threatened these populations by direct disturbance. Encroachment by Phragmites is a threat to some of the other populations.
Controlling the spread of Phragmites may benefit some populations.
Research is needed to determine whether the populations of Suaeda rolandii on Long Island have separate origins from Canadian populations of the (putatively) same species.
In New York, Roland's Sea-blite grows in open, salt-influenced wetlands, including the upper portions of high salt marshes, in salt pannes or swales within brackish tidal marsh, and similar habitats occurring on dredge spoils (New York Natural Heritage Program 2011). Tidal flats, salt marshes (FNA 2003). Salt marshes (Clemants 1992).
This saltmarsh plant is currently known from Queens and Suffolk counties with historical records in Nassau County and Brooklyn.
Roland's Sea-blite is rare throughout its current range from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada and New York's Long Island. It is also historically known from both coastal Québec and New Jersey.
Suaeda rolandii is an annual (at least in New York) herbaceous species with a woody taproot. It is normally erect or ascending and single-stemmed, up to 70 centimeters tall, and branching only from the upper stem. The leaves are fleshy and succulent, linear, and up to 3 centimeters long. The flower heads are distributed throughout the main stem and lateral branches. The sepals are hooded and keeled, somewhat unequal, and 2 to 4 millimeters wide (FNA 2003). The seeds are lens-shaped, black, and 1.5 to 2.3 millimeters in diameter. (FNA 2003, Clemants 1992). It may be our first Suaeda to turn red in autumn.
Plants with mature fruits are best for identification.
Suaeda rolandii superficially resembles a larger, more succulent, and erect S. maritima, but S. rolandii flowers and fruits later in the season, and its flowers have unequal, unkeeled sepals, unlike the rounded sepals of S. maritima. Its fruits have larger seeds (1.5 to 2.0 millimeters in diameter) than those of the other two New York Suaeda species, S. linearis and S. calceoliformis (10 to 1.5 mm) (Clemants 1992).
Fruiting plants should be present October and into November.
The time of year you would expect to find Roland's Sea Blite fruiting in New York.
Roland's Sea Blite
Suaeda rolandii Bassett & Crompton
An allotetraploid from a cross between S. maritima and S. calcolariformis (=americana). Described in 1978 by Basset and Crompton in J. Canad. Bot. 56:588.
Clemants, Steven E. 1992. Chenopodiaceae and Amaranthaceae of New York State. Bulletin No. 485. New York State Museum. Albany, NY.
Bassett, I.J. and C.W. Crompton. 1977. The genus Suaeda (Chenopodiaceae) of Canada. Canadian Journal of Botany 56: 581-591.
Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003. Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 4, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, Part 1. Oxford University Press, New York.
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.
Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.
Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York
This guide was authored by: Richard M. Ring
Information for this guide was last updated on: November 4, 2011
Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Suaeda rolandii. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/rolands-sea-blite/. Accessed March 22, 2019.