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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.



Mihai Costea, family description, key to genera, revised by Thomas J. Rosatti & Elizabeth H. Zacharias

Annual to shrub; hairs simple, stellate, or glandular; plants in several genera scaly, mealy, or powdery from collapsed glands; monoecious, dioecious, with bisexual flowers, or with both bisexual and unisexual flowers. Stem: occasionally fleshy. Leaf: blade simple, generally alternate, occasionally fleshy or reduced to scales, veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, spheric head, axillary clusters of flowers, or flowers 1; bracts 0–5, herbaceous, generally persistent or strongly modified in fruit, wings, tubercles or spines present or 0. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, generally green; calyx parts (1)3–5, or 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused basally (or ± throughout), leaf-like in texture, membranous, or fleshy, deciduous or not, often strongly modified in fruit; corolla 0; stamens 1–5, opposite sepals, filaments free, equal; anthers 4-chambered; ovary superior (1/2-inferior), chamber 1; ovule 1; styles, stigmas 1–4 (or stigmas sessile). Fruit: achene or utricle, generally falling with persistent calyx or bracts. Seed: 1, small, lenticular to spheric; seed coat smooth to finely dotted, warty, net-like, or prickly, margin occasionally winged.
100 genera, 1500 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, beet, Swiss chard; Spinacia oleracea L., spinach; Chenopodium quinoa Willd., quinoa); and some worldwide, naturalized ruderal or noxious agricultural weeds. Nitrophila treated in Amaranthaceae, Sarcobatus treated in Sarcobataceae. Key to genera revised by Elizabeth H. Zacharias to incorporate Extriplex and Stutzia, 2 genera segregated from Atriplex. —Scientific Editors: Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Chenopodiaceae

1. Stems jointed, ± fleshy or succulent; leaves scale-like

2. Leaves alternate; shrub ..... ALLENROLFEA

2' Leaves opposite; annual to subshrub

3. Annual ..... SALICORNIA (2)

3' Subshrub, woody stems sometimes buried by tidal action

4. Inflorescence axis bearing flowers to tip, not resuming vegetative growth after flowering; flowers sunken in fleshy tissue of distal internode, adherent to each other and to subtending bracts; seed with hooked hairs ..... SALICORNIA (2)

4' Inflorescence axis often distally sterile, ± abruptly tapered, sometimes resuming vegetative growth after flowering; flowers sunken in axis, free from each other and distal bract; seed glabrous ..... ARTHROCNEMUM

1' Stems not jointed, generally not fleshy; leaves well developed

5. Leaves ± semicylindric, generally fleshy (except Kochia)

6. Leaves or inflorescence bracts bristle- or spine-tipped

7. Leaves, inflorescence bracts cylindric or club-shaped, abruptly bristle-tipped; tips of sepals winged in fruit ..... HALOGETON

7' Leaves thread-like to ± cylindric, acute; bracts awl-like to ovate, generally spine-tipped; abaxial faces of sepals generally tubercled or winged in fruit ..... SALSOLA

6' Leaves or inflorescence bracts not spine- or bristle-tipped

8. Leaves not or ± weakly fleshy; sepals in fruit each with horizontal, membranous wing or tubercle on abaxial face ..... KOCHIA (2)

8' Leaves fleshy; sepals in fruit each either without wing or tubercle or with distal horn-like appendage and horizontal wing on abaxial face ..... SUAEDA

5' Leaves flattened, not or ± weakly fleshy

9. Bisexual flowers 0; pistillate flower enclosed by 2, free or fused bracts (except in some pistillate flowers of Atriplex hortensis), these enlarged in fruit, calyx 0 (except in Stutzia and some pistillate flowers of Atriplex hortensis)

10. Pistillate flower bracts and calyx of staminate flowers densely soft-hairy ..... KRASCHENINNIKOVIA

10' Pistillate flower bracts and calyx of staminate flowers glabrous, minutely scaly, or powdery

11. Plant glabrous or with minute, soft, branched hairs; fruit bracts ± round, flat, winged, wholly united, entire, tubercles 0; shrub ..... GRAYIA

11' Plant glabrous or generally with sessile, round to club-shaped, 1-celled glands that collapse and become mealy or scale-like; fruit bracts ± triangular to round, generally ± thickened, at least tips free, tubercles and/or marginal teeth present or 0; annual to shrub

12. Pistillate flower with calyx that is enclosed between and concealed by much longer bracts ..... STUTZIA

12' Pistillate flower without calyx (except in bractless pistillate flowers of Atriplex hortensis)

13. Leaf anatomy Kranz (see note under Atriplex); herbs to shrubs ..... ATRIPLEX (2)

13' Leaf anatomy non-Kranz; herbs

14. Calyx lobes of staminate flower 4; seeds of 1 kind (dark brown-black); annual or perennial herb ..... EXTRIPLEX

14' Calyx lobes of staminate flower 3–5; seeds of 2 kinds (smaller black, larger brown); annual ..... ATRIPLEX (2)

9' Bisexual flowers present or 0; pistillate flower (if present) not enclosed by 2 bracts, generally with 1–5 sepals (0 in Monolepis spathulata)

15. Calyx horizontally winged in fruit

16. Leaf wavy-dentate; plant long-shaggy-hairy to tomentose, generally glabrous in age ..... CYCLOLOMA

16' Leaf entire; plant generally glabrous, occasionally ± hairy ..... KOCHIA (2)

15' Calyx not horizontally winged in fruit

17. Fruiting calyx tubercled or with curved to hooked appendages

18. Calyx densely hairy, in fruit bearing 5 incurved to hooked spines ..... BASSIA

18' Calyx glabrous to ciliate, in fruit tubercled, without spines

19. Leaf ovate; ovary 1/2-inferior, embedded in receptacle; fruits clustered, 2+ often falling in a group together with hardened calyces ..... BETA (2)

19' Leaf linear; ovary superior, not embedded in receptacle; fruits falling individually ..... Kochia scoparia

17' Fruiting calyx not tubercled or with appendages

20. Ovary 1/2-inferior, embedded in receptacle; calyx thick, hard in fruit; fruits clustered ..... BETA (2)

20' Ovary superior; calyx thin in fruit; fruits not adherent

21. Distal leaves cordate-clasping; style branches 3 ..... APHANISMA

21' Distal leaves not clasping; style branches generally 2

22. Sepals, stamens (1–)5; plant glandular-puberulent or not

23. Plant glandular-puberulent, sometimes also long-hairy ..... DYSPHANIA

23' Plant ± glabrous or with sessile, 1-celled, bead-like glands that generally collapse and become mealy or scale-like, not hairy ..... CHENOPODIUM

22' Sepals (0)1–3, stamens 1–3(5); plant not glandular-puberulent

24. Inflorescence a bracted terminal spike; leaves generally linear to lance-linear or thread-like; sepal 1, adaxial; stamens generally 3 ..... CORISPERMUM

24' Inflorescence of axillary clusters of flowers or flowers solitary at stem tips or in axils; leaves elliptic, ± oblong, triangular-lanceolate, oblanceolate or spoon-shaped; sepals 0 or 1–3; stamens 1–2

25. Stem many-branched throughout, ultimate branches thread-like; flowers 1–3 at stem tips or in axils ..... MICROMONOLEPIS

25' Stem simple or branched from base, not branched distally, ultimate branches not thread-like; flowers 4–15+ per axillary cluster ..... MONOLEPIS


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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