Jepson eFlora
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Chenopodium

View taxon page for 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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