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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 sp. (Asa Gray, eminent American botanist, Harvard University, 1810–1888) [Holmgren 2003 FNANM 4:306–307]
Shrub rounded; scaly-puberulent, hairs branched, glabrous in age; generally dioecious. Stem: generally 3–10(15) dm, branches many, stiff; bark red-brown, ± white-ribbed, peeling in strips, older bark gray; twigs spine-like in age. Leaf: alternate, 5–25(40) mm, generally spoon-shaped to oblanceolate, flat, entire, tapered to short-petioled, blade green, tip generally ± white. Staminate inflorescence: spike-like, terminal, 7–18 mm; bract ± leaf-like; flowers 2–5 per cluster. Pistillate inflorescence: ± spike-like, axillary or terminal, 6–18 cm in fruit; flowers 1–few per cluster; bracts 3–10 mm, ± leaf-like; fruit bracts 2, 7–15 mm, fused, together sac-like, ± round, flat, winged, white to red-tinged, margins entire. Staminate flower: calyx lobes 4, 1.5–2 mm, enclosing stamens; stamens 4–5. Pistillate flower: stigmas 2, exserted. Fruit: generally 1.5–2 mm, brown.
2n=36. Sandy to gravelly soils in scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland; 300–2900 m. High Sierra Nevada (e slope), Tehachapi Mountain Area, se San Joaquin Valley, Western Transverse Ranges (n slope), Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert, nw Sonoran Desert; to Washington, Montana, New Mexico. Mar–Jun [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Chenopodium spinosum Hook.]
Previous taxon: Grayia
Next taxon: Halogeton
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. Grayia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=27306, accessed on Mar 11 2014
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