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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.
Monoecious. Stem: erect, 25–150(200) cm, branched or not, green with purple stripes, ± glabrous. Leaf: petiole 30–60 mm; blade 30–80 mm, 20–50 mm wide, elliptic to rhombic or widely lanceolate, base wedge-shaped, margins flat, tip ± obtuse. Inflorescence: terminal, erect, generally with a few rigid-erect branches (well-branched, dense panicle), (3)4–12 cm, 1.2–1.6 cm wide (including flowers); green to pale green; bracts 4.5–6(8) mm, 2–3(4) × > perianth, spine-like, narrowly triangular to lanceolate. Flower: staminate generally at inflorescence tips, perianth parts 3–5, ± equal, lanceolate, acute, stamens 3–5; pistillate perianth parts 3–5, unequal, longest 2.3–3.5 mm, others 1.2–2 mm, oblong to lance-linear, tip acute to awned; stigmas 2–3, spreading. Fruit: circumscissile or indehiscent; 2–3 mm, ovoid, generally > perianth parts, ± wrinkled near tip, ± smooth when indehiscent, gray-cream to light brown. Seed: 0.9–1.3 mm, lenticular, elliptic, ovate, dark brown to black, smooth, shiny.
2n=32,34. Agricultural fields, disturbed areas; < 1500 m. Outer North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada Foothills, n&c High Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, White and Inyo Mountains, Modoc Plateau; native to southwestern United States, adjacent Mexico; ± cosmopolitan weed. Jun–Oct [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Amaranthus bouchonii Thell.; Amaranthus powellii subsp. bouchonii (Thell.) Costea & Carretero.]
Previous taxon: Amaranthus palmeri
Next taxon: Amaranthus retroflexus
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 19 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=12936, accessed on Apr 19 2014
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