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Key to families | Table of families and genera
Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Annual to subshrub; monoecious and/or dioecious; occasionally spiny; hairs simple (branched). Leaf: blade simple, alternate or opposite, margins entire or serrate; veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal; 3-flowered cymes in dense spikes, heads or panicles; bracts 0 or 1–5, persistent; bractlets 0–2. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, green (± white), yellow or purple; perianth parts 0 or (1)3–5, free or fused basally, scarious or hardened, persistent; stamens 1–5, opposite perianth parts, free or basally fused as a tube, generally unequal, occasionally alternate with appendages on stamen tubes (pseudostaminodes), anthers 2- or 4-chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1; ovule 1 (2–many); style (0)1–3, stigmas 1–3(5). Fruit: utricle; generally with persistent perianth or bracts. Seed: 1 [2+], small, lenticular to spheric, smooth or dotted to striate or tubercled.
± 75 genera, 900 species: cosmopolitan, especially disturbed, arid, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food, ornamental; many naturalized, ruderal or agricultural weeds. [Müller & Borsch 2005 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 92:66–102] Amaranthaceae including Chenopodiaceae by some. Polycnemoideae, represented in California by Nitrophila, formerly considered subfamily of Chenopodiaceae, but needs further research. Guilleminea densa (Willd.) Moq. var. aggregata Uline & W.L. Bray is a waif. Froelichia gracilis (Hook.) Moq. is an historical waif. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Kadereit et al. 2003 Int J Plant Sci 164:959–986; Robertson 1981 J Arnold Arbor 62:267–313]
Key to Amaranthaceae
Annual (short-lived perennial herb); monoecious or dioecious. Stem: prostrate to erect, branched or not. Leaf: alternate, petioled, ovate to linear, tip often ± notched (2-lobed), midvein ending in sharp point, margin entire, flat or wavy. Inflorescence: 3-flowered cymes, in dense axillary clusters, or large, terminal, panicle- or spike-like inflorescence; bract 1, bractlets 0–2, alike, persistent, spine-like to ± leaf-like or ± membranous, at least margins scarious-membranous. Flower: unisexual. Staminate flower: perianth parts (2)3–5, scarious; stamens (1)2–5, filaments free; pseudostaminodes 0; anthers 4-chambered. Pistillate flower: perianth parts (1)3–5, membranous or scarious, free, persistent; ovary ovoid, style 0, stigmas 2–3, persistent, slender, papillate; ovule 1, erect. Fruit: circumscissile or indehiscent, ovoid to obovoid, smooth or ± wrinkled, tip ± gradually (abruptly) narrowed to stigmas or beak; walls thin, membranous. Seed: 1, lenticular to ± spheric, round to obovate, smooth, shiny, occasionally obscure-dotted or -net-like, ± white-ivory to brown-red or black.Key to Amaranthus
± 70 species: worldwide; weeds, ornamentals, food plants. (Greek: unfading, non-withering) [Costea et al. 2001 Sida 19:931–974, 975–992; Sauer 1967 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 54:103–137] Hybrids common, F1 generally with numerous, densely packed bractlets beneath generally sterile pistillate flowers, abnormal-shaped inflorescence with dense, twisted or fan-shaped branches. Unless otherwise noted, descriptions of bracts and flower parts are of pistillate flowers.
Unabridged references: [Sauer 1955 Madroño 13:5–46]
Unabridged note: F1 hybrids have been observed in natural conditions or have been experimentally obtained between any of the following species: Amaranthus hybridus, Amaranthus powellii, Amaranthus retroflexus, Amaranthus tuberculatus, Amaranthus palmeri, Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus spinosus, Amaranthus blitoides, Amaranthus albus. Amaranthus caudatus L., Amaranthus cruentus L., Amaranthus hypochondriacus L. frequently cultivated as ornamentals, occasionally escaping from cultivation. Amaranthus spinosus L. probably not naturalized, uncommon waif.
Short-lived perennial herb; monoecious. Stem: prostrate to ascending, 10–50 cm, branched at base, ± brown or occasionally green, hairy distally. Leaf: petiole 12–30 mm; blade (5)10–30(50) mm, 5–15(25) mm wide, rhombic-ovate to lanceolate, base tapered, wedge-shaped, tip ± acute or obtuse, margins flat or ± wavy. Inflorescence: axillary and terminal, spike-like or with few axes, erect to flexible, main axis 2–8 cm, 1.5–2.5 cm wide (including flowers), green or ± brown; bracts 0.5–1 mm, < perianth, membranous, triangular-ovate. Flower: staminate perianth parts 2–3, 1.2–1.4 mm, stamens 2–3; pistillate perianth parts 2–3, 1–2 mm, < fruit, narrow-oblong to linear; stigmas 3, erect. Fruit: indehiscent; 2–3 mm, ovoid, inflated, brown, smooth. Seed: 1–1.1 mm, elliptic to obovate, dark-brown to black, smooth, shiny.
2n=34. Railroad right-of-ways, disturbed areas; < 650 m. Sacramento Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California; to eastern United States, native to South America, Europe, Asia. May–Nov [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Amaranthus cruentus
Next taxon: Amaranthus fimbriatus
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 11 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Amaranthus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=12917, accessed on Mar 11 2014
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