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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Steven E. Clemants & Nuri Benet-Pierce

Annual or perennial herb, glabrous or powdery. Stem: branches 0 to generally erect (spreading). Leaf: generally petioled; blade linear to deltate or diamond-shaped, entire to lobed or toothed, reduced distally on stem; proximal leaves generally early-deciduous. Inflorescence: spheric clusters or flower 1, in spikes, or panicle-like, generally dense; bracts generally 0; flowers generally sessile. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused or not, persistent, flat to keeled; stamens generally 5; stigmas 2(5). Fruit: enclosed or subtended by calyx; fruit wall membranous or papery, free or attached to seed and generally loosening in age. Seed: vertical or horizontal, lenticular to ± spheric, red-brown to black; wall thin.
± 100 species: temperate; some cultivated for food or grain. (Greek: goose foot, from leaf shape of some species) [Clemants & Mosyakin 2003 FNANM 4:275–299] Fruit generally required for identification. Other species in TJM (1993) now treated in Dysphania.
Unabridged references: [Crawford 1975 Brittonia 27:279–288; Wahl 1954 Bartonia 27:1–46]
Unabridged note: Powder on plants from small, inflated hairs.

Key to Chenopodium

1. Perennial herb from stout, fleshy caudex; calyx tube generally > lobes ..... C. californicum

1' Annual; calyx tube generally < lobes

2. Seeds all vertical or both horizontal and vertical; calyx lobes generally 3(4) in flowers with vertical fruit, 4–5 in flowers with horizontal fruit

3. Leaf blade white-powdery abaxially, margins acutely-toothed ..... C. glaucum var. salinum

3' Leaf blade glabrous abaxially at least in age, margins entire to variously toothed

4. Leaf blade thick to fleshy, margin generally serrate, abaxially ± densely powdery and becoming glabrous ..... C. macrospermum

4' Leaf blade thin, margin entire or toothed, generally glabrous

5. Flower clusters 3–10 mm diam, in unbranched terminal and/or axillary spikes; sepals generally red, fleshy in fruit; all seeds vertical

6. Flower clusters subtended by leafy bracts throughout inflorescence; stamens generally 1; fruit maturing from base to tip of plant ..... C. foliosum

6' Flower clusters subtended by leafy bracts only in proximal 1/2 of inflorescence; stamens 3; fruit maturing from tip to base of plant ..... C. capitatum

7. Flower clusters 6–10 mm diam; fruit red, fleshy; leaf blade base truncate to cordate (hastate), margin generally sharply toothed ..... var. capitatum

7' Flower clusters 3–5 mm diam; fruit green to red, not fleshy; leaf blade base tapered to truncate, margin entire or ± toothed ..... var. parvicapitatum

5' Flower clusters 2–4 mm diam, in axillary branched spikes; sepals green, membranous; seeds generally vertical, occasionally horizontal

8. Calyx tube > lobes; stamen 1 ..... C. chenopodioides

8' Calyx tube < lobes; stamens 2–3 ..... C. rubrum

9. Stem prostrate to spreading; leaf margin entire or shallowly toothed ..... var. humile

9' Stem erect to ascending; leaf margin deeply toothed ..... var. rubrum

2' Most or all seeds horizontal; calyx lobes generally 5

10. Flowers 1 or in cymes, arranged in axillary and terminal panicles or branched spikes; leaf blade glabrous to ± powdery abaxially ..... C. simplex

10' Flower clusters in terminal and/or axillary spikes and/or panicles; leaf blade generally powdery

11. Primary leaves not fleshy, generally 2-lobed, generally toothed on margin

12. Fruit wall pitted at 20×

13. Plant scented; proximal leaf blades entire to 2-lobed or toothed near base, densely powdery; fruit wall, seed coat ± white ..... C. watsonii

13' Plant generally not scented; all leaf blades entire, or 2-lobed near base and serrate or irregularly toothed, powdery; fruit wall brown, seed coat black ..... C. berlandieri

14. Style base not yellow in fruit; seed 1–1.3 mm diam ..... var. sinuatum

14' Style base yellow in fruit; seed 1.2–1.5 mm diam ..... var. zschackei

12' Fruit wall not pitted at 20×

15. Leaf powdery in youth, especially abaxially, or generally glabrous; fruit wall scale-like at 20×; seed margin sharply angled ..... C. murale

15' Leaf powdery; fruit wall smooth or papillate at 20×; seed margin rounded or ridged

16. Leaf blade sides ± parallel from near base, generally not lobed, generally finely serrate; fruit wall smooth, generally attached to seed in age ..... C. strictum var. glaucophyllum

16' Leaf blade sides not parallel, generally lobed or toothed; fruit wall papillate or smooth, generally free from seed in age

17. Plant to 1 m; inflorescence branches straight; flower clusters generally in axillary and terminal branched spikes ..... C. album

17' Plant to 2 m; inflorescence branches ± curved or pendent; flower clusters in axillary and terminal spikes or panicles ..... C. missouriense

11' Primary leaves ± fleshy, entire or 1–2 pairs of lobes or teeth near base

18. Leaf blade 1-veined from base, entire

19. Leaf blade 4–6 mm wide, generally linear to narrowly lanceolate (elliptic), powdery abaxially, tip generally acuminate; inflorescence dense ..... C. desiccatum (2)

19' Leaf blade generally < 3.5 mm wide, linear, densely powdery abaxially, tip ± round; inflorescence open ..... C. leptophyllum

18' Leaf blade 3-veined from base, entire or 1–2 pairs of lobes or teeth near base

20. Leaf blade length 3–many × width

21. Fruit wall attached to seed ..... C. hians

21' Fruit wall free from seed

22. Plant erect to spreading; leaf blade length 3–many × width, entire; calyx lobes generally enclosing fruit in age; seed coat warty ..... C. desiccatum (2)

22' Plant generally erect; leaf blade length 3–5 × width, entire or generally 1–2 lobes near base; calyx lobes ± spreading in age; seed coat wrinkled ..... C. pratericola

20' Leaf blade length to 3 × width

23. Leaf blade length 2–3 × width, elliptic, lanceolate, or oblong

24. Plant erect, branched; leaf base generally rounded to tapered, tip generally obtuse to round, petiole generally strongly upcurved; fruit wall smooth ..... C. atrovirens

24' Plant prostrate to ascending, branched from base; leaf tip acute to round, petiole not upcurved; fruit wall papillate ..... C. littoreum

23' Leaf blade length generally < 2 × width, ± diamond-shaped to ovate, deltate, or elliptic

25. Fruit wall attached to seed

26. Plant not ill-smelling, spheric in fruit, many-branched distally, branches forked in pairs; leaves entire or generally 2-lobed, occasionally toothed; seed < 0.8 mm ..... C. nevadense

26' Plant ill-smelling, not spheric in fruit, few-branched from base, branches not forked in pairs; leaves entire; seed > 0.9 mm ..... C. vulvaria

25' Fruit wall free from seed

27. Inflorescence clusters in spikes; leaves ± powdery abaxially; lobes near leaf base spreading; fruit visible between calyx lobes in age; seed margin thick, square in ×-section ..... C. fremontii

27' Inflorescence clusters in panicles; leaves moderately to densely powdery abaxially; lobes near leaf base occasionally spreading; fruit hidden by calyx lobes in age; seed margin obtuse in ×-section ..... C. incanum var. occidentale


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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