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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


Steven E. Clemants & Nuri Benet-Pierce

Annual or perennial herb, glabrous or powdery. Stem: branches 0 to generally erect (spreading). Leaf: generally petioled; blade linear to deltate or diamond-shaped, entire to lobed or toothed, reduced distally on stem; proximal leaves generally early-deciduous. Inflorescence: spheric clusters or flower 1, in spikes, or panicle-like, generally dense; bracts generally 0; flowers generally sessile. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused or not, persistent, flat to keeled; stamens generally 5; stigmas 2(5). Fruit: enclosed or subtended by calyx; fruit wall membranous or papery, free or attached to seed and generally loosening in age. Seed: vertical or horizontal, lenticular to ± spheric, red-brown to black; wall thin.
± 100 species: temperate; some cultivated for food or grain. (Greek: goose foot, from leaf shape of some species) [Clemants & Mosyakin 2003 FNANM 4:275–299] Fruit generally required for identification. Other species in TJM (1993) now treated in Dysphania.
Unabridged references: [Crawford 1975 Brittonia 27:279–288; Wahl 1954 Bartonia 27:1–46]
Unabridged note: Powder on plants from small, inflated hairs.

Key to Chenopodium

C. capitatum (L.) Ambrosi STRAWBERRY-BLITE
Annual 15–100 cm. Leaf: blade 25–100 mm, generally deltate, entire to sharply toothed, glabrous, base tapered to hastate, tip acute to acuminate. Inflorescence: spheric clusters 3–10 mm diam, in unbranched terminal spikes 5–20 cm; leafy-bracted only in proximal 1/2 of inflorescence. Flower: sepals 3, subtending fruit, smooth, glabrous, ± fleshy or membranous in fruit; stamens 3. Fruit: ± 1 mm diam; wall strongly attached to seed, smooth, red to dark red or green; maturing from top to base of plant. Seed: vertical.
2n=18. Similar to Chenopodium foliosum. [Online Interchange]

C. capitatum var. parvicapitatum S.L. Welsh
Leaf: blade base tapered to truncate, margin entire or ± toothed. Inflorescence: spheric clusters 3–5 mm diam. Fruit: membranous, not fleshy, green to red.
Aspen groves, conifer forest, pinyon/juniper woodland, meadows, riverbanks; 1400–3000 m. c High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, White and Inyo Mountains; to Montana, Colorado, New Mexico. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Chenopodium overi Aellen]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Chenopodium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Chenopodium capitatum var. parvicapitatum Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.